• Dr Lucy Telfar-Barnard & Dr Sarah Bierre- Housing condition and tenure - 11 October 2013

New Zealand's housing stock has an estimated $22 billion of deferred maintenance. In this seminar, Lucy will outline what existing data tells us about differences in housing age and condition by tenure, and share results of new analysis showing how demographic variables may affect those differences.

Sarah will then look at the legal recourse open to tenants living in rental housing in poor condition. Through a review of Tenancy Tribunal decisions she will discuss the legal standard of housing and that expected by the Tenancy Tribunal, which deals with housing condition concerns from tenants.

Dr Sarah Bierre and Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard are both Research Fellows in He Kainga Oranga/The Housing and Health Research Programme, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington.

  • Dr Bill Rosenberg -The Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety: a strategy to reduce New Zealand's high rate of workplace fatalities and serious injuries by 2020 - 20 September 2013

The Taskforce was established in June 2012 to evaluate whether the workplace and safety system in New Zealand was fit for purpose, and to recommend practical strategies for significantly reducing the high rate of workplace fatalities and serious injuries by 2020. This seminar looks at the weaknesses that need to be addressed if New Zealand is to achieve a major step-change in workplace health and safety performance and look in particular at the implications for public health and for employment relations. It considers the Government's response to the Taskforce's recommendations.

  • Prof Jonathan Boston - Responding to child poverty and poor child health in New Zealand: Where are we at? - 5 July 2013

Professor Jonathan Boston reflects on the the policy proposals advanced by the Children's Commissioner's Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, and Dr Archie Kerr reviews the social determinants of health, especially as they apply to children. (Joint seminar with Department of Paediatrics).

  • Evan Roberts - Height, weight and mortality in the past - 14 June 2013

An enormous corpus of research examines how health affects longevity in modern populations. The historical trajectory of the relationship is equally interesting. Increases in body mass in adulthood beyond moderate overweight status have been found to reduce longevity. However the twentieth century has seen a trend towards both increased average body mass and increased average longevity. There are only two studies of weight and mortality for cohorts born in the nineteenth century. Our paper adds a third historical population to the literature: New Zealand-born men who served in World War I. Our analysis focuses on whether greater body mass led to premature mortality. Our estimates suggest the hazard of death between age 55 and 70 was 40-50% higher for men with a BMI over 27, compared to men in the ideal weight range (BMI of 20-25). Comparison to cohorts born in the mid-to-late twentieth century suggests that the mortality risk of being overweight dropped significantly over the past century.

  • Moira Smith, Kathryn Fuge and Emmeline Haymes - Biting into the Oral Health of New Zealand Children - 24 May 2013

Tooth decay is preventable, yet it is the most prevalent childhood disease and a leading cause of hospitalisation in NZ. Once established tooth decay is irreversible and may have long-term impacts on health and wellbeing. Despite improvements over recent decades, over half of all NZ children still experience tooth decay, with marked ethnic and socioeconomic disparities evident. From clinical and public health perspectives, this seminar will examine the present state of child oral health in NZ, the factors which impact on oral health, and how to boost preventive efforts to improve oral health and reduce inequities.

  • Dr Hera Cook - Redefining Emotion for the Modern World: A historical perspective on neuroscience and emotions research - 17 May 2013

In recent decades there has been a proliferation of scales and other measures of emotion as a means to assess everything from research outcomes to national well-being. Concepts such as emotional intelligence are now used routinely to assess children in schools. Yet in Western culture emotion has traditionally been opposed to scientific rationality. It has been associated with lack of control, bodies and primitivism or positively with an authentic self. Emotion has now been redefined as a form of cognition accessible through neuroscience. How has this transformation of emotion been achieved? What are the cultural values underlying these new concepts and whose emotional norms are expressed in them?

  • Prof Tony Blakely - Are care coordinators cost effective? - 1 March 2013

The Government recently allocated NZ$16 million for cancer care coordinators, but evidence on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness is limited. This presentation will outline the key methods and results from an economic evaluation for stage III colon cancer patients.

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  • Dr Andrew Marshall, Assoc Prof Barry Borman and Brendon Bowkett - Folic acid; when consumer choice trumps science - October 2012

Despite strong scientific evidence, and in contrast to Australia, NZ has rejected mandatory folic acid fortification of bread to prevent neural tube defects. This seminar will examine the history behind this recent decision, its impact, the key issues and tensions, and the way forward.

  • Assoc Prof Michael Baker - Why is paediatric practice in New Zealand increasingly dominated by infectious diseases and what should we do about it? (151.22 MB) - 20 April 2012 [Podcast of this presentation]

  • Des O'Dea - The cost of skin cancer to New Zealand - New Zealand's most expensive cancer?(83.80 MB) - 7 May 2010 [Podcast of this presentation]

  • Professor Tony Blakely - The effectiveness of tailored nutrition education and price discounts in promoting healthier food purchases (160.04 MB) - 31 March 2010 [Podcast of this presentation]

Related Info

Email publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz to be added to the Public Health seminar mailing list.

Contact us

Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel +64 4 385 6040
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