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About us

The Neighbourhoods and Health project began in 2004, seeking to better understand neighbourhood variations in health.


The objectives for 2004-2007 were:

  • To measure community resource access at the meshblock using geographic information system (GIS) methods.
  • To measure social fragmentation of urban neighbourhoods.
  • To determine the association of neighbourhood community resource access, social fragmentation and social capital with morbidity and mortality, controlling for time lags, migration and varying individual-level composition of neighbourhoods.

The objectives for 2008-2011 were:

  • Wellington extension to URBAN: Adding 12 neighbourhoods in Wellington to the URBAN project and adding questions on preferences for type of neighbourhood lived in and food outlets. Developing a comprehensive composite measure of PA related resources.
  • In-depth case studies: In-depth qualitative case-studies in four neighbourhoods, to answer:
  • Social practices: How are neighbourhood environments used as social and physical activity spaces? What are the social practices that reinforce engaging in PA?
  • Selection: Do people live where they do because of its conduciveness to physical activity (built, natural and social factors)? Does this matter for their PA?
  • Scale: What influences people's decision making on the location of physical activity within/without their neighbourhood?
  • Triangulation: Bringing above N&H and URBAN objectives together for richer understanding

For a more indepth description of the Neighbourhoods and Health project please click on the the Neighbourhoods and Health overview document - Neighbourhoods and Health overview



Neighbourhoods and Health is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.


A list of publications of the Neighbourhoods and Health project

Our people

University of Otago, Wellington

Other organisations

  • Karen Witten (SHORE, Massey University)
  • Jamie Pearce (Canterbury University)
  • Anna Stevenson (Canterbury District Health Board)


  • Sunny Collings (University of Otago, Wellington)
  • Philippa Howden-Chapman (University of Otago, Wellington)
  • Kevin Dew (Victoria University of Wellington)

Neighbourhoods and Health Project
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel 64 4 918 5072

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