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photo of Moira-Smith public health deptBDS PhD PGDipSci DPHSenior Research Fellow; Co-Director HePPRU
Teaching and Supervision Portfolio Lead; Department of Public Health

Contact details

Tel +64 4 385 5541 ext 4879
Fax +64 4 389 5319

Research interests and activities

Dr Moira Smith is a Senior Research Fellow, Co-Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, and Teaching and Supervision Portfolio Leader of the wider Department of Public Health. Prior to becoming a member of the Department of Public Health in 2010, Moira had over 20 years' experience in clinical dentistry, in New Zealand and the UK. Moira's doctoral study was conducted during the tenure of a Health Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowship.

Moira's research focuses on the broad determinants of health, gathering evidence to inform policy and (in turn) create supportive environments. Key areas of research interest include children's health, especially addressing harm from unhealthy food environments, alcohol and gambling, and oral health, particularly older people's oral health and addressing inequities in oral health in Aotearoa. Her research uses qualitative research methods, policy research and mixed method designs.

Moira was a named investigator on Kids'Cam, an innovative research project that used wearable cameras to study the world children live in, and is currently co-leading Kids Online Aotearoa, which studies children's online worlds, their engagement with it and its impact on their health and wellbeing. Moira leads a team investigating the feasibility of incorporating oral health care in aged care and is a named investigator in AWESSoM: Ageing Well through Eating, Sleeping, Socialising and Mobility, funded by the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.

Moira is an associate member of the Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, Chair of the NZ Oral Health Clinical Advisory Network and Associate Editor of Gerodontology. She has supervised seven MPH and three doctoral students to completion, and is currently involved in the supervision of two MPH and five doctoral students.


Bakri, N. N., Ferguson, C. A., Majeed, S., Thomson, W. M., Oda, K., Bartlett, S., Broadbent, J. M., & Smith, M. B. (2023). Workplace oral health promotion activities among community-aged care workers: A qualitative exploration. Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology, 12924. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12924

Oda, K., Majeed, S., Bogati, R., Smith, M., & Honey, M. (2023). Oral health assessment education: Together putting the mouth into a head-to-toe assessment [Workshop]. Proceedings of the Ninth International Clinical Skills Conference. (pp. 45). Retrieved from

Bakri, N. N., Smith, M. B., Broadbent, J. M., & Thomson, W. M. (2023, July). Promoting oral health in the aged care workplace setting: Key informants’ views. Verbal presentation at the Faculty of Dentistry Clinical and Research Excellence Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Signal, V., Jones, R., Davies, C., Stairmand, J., Smith, M., Adler, J., & Gurney, J. K. (2023). It’s more than just physical: Experiences of pain and pain management among Māori with cancer and their whanau. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 18(1). doi: 10.32799/ijih.v18i1.39255

Oda, K., Majeed, S., Parsons, J., Boyd, M., & Smith, M. (2023). Putting the mouth into the head-to-toe assessment: Nursing oral health assessment training with an oral health therapist. Journal of Nursing Education, 62(7), 399-402. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20230509-04

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