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News archives

Pūranga karere

Funding success for Otago in 2020 Health Research Council grants

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Ten University of Otago proposals have been awarded funding through the Health Research Council’s (HRC) new Health Delivery Research Investment round. The 32 research grants are the first of two funding announcements for the HRC’s new Health Delivery Research portfolio.

He Kete Kōrero – Spring 2020

Monday 24 August 2020

Welcome to the Spring 2020 edition of He Kete Kōrero with the latest news from the Wellington campus.

Otago scientists secure more than $26m for health research

Tuesday 30 June 2020

University of Otago, Wellington infectious diseases expert Professor Michael Baker has received almost $5 million from the Health Research Council for a programme investigating the connection between infectious diseases and long-term conditions, something he was planning well prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.

University offers training in refugee and migrant health

Friday 5 June 2020

A post-graduate course on refugee and migrant health being run by the University of Otago, Wellington is offering primary health care professionals the opportunity to improve their training in the area, ahead of a likely increase in the number of refugees coming to the country.

Teens shocked by suicide portrayal in ‘13 Reasons Why’ study finds

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Teenagers interviewed about their views on the suicide portrayed in the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why report being shocked by the graphic detail of the scene, which they saw as excessive, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

He Kete Kōrero – Autumn 2020

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Welcome to the Autumn 2020 edition of He Kete Kōrero, with recent highlights from the Wellington campus.

Damp and mouldy housing new measure in latest deprivation index

Thursday 30 January 2020

Damp and mouldy housing has been included as an indicator of socioeconomic deprivation in New Zealand by University of Otago researchers developing the latest version of the New Zealand Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation (NZDep2018).

He Kete Kōrero – Summer 2019

Wednesday 18 December 2019


Welcome to the Summer 2019–2020 edition of He Kete Kōrero, with recent highlights from the Wellington campus.

Real world focus for postgrad primary health care curriculum

Tuesday 26 November 2019

The convenor of refreshed postgraduate qualifications in primary health care at the University of Otago, Wellington, has brought years of experience working as a field medic for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in such global hotspots as Afghanistan and Sierra Leone – as well as on-the-ground work in rural and urban New Zealand - to the task.

Spirituality and Mental Health Symposium

Thursday 21 November 2019

A symposium being held at the University of Otago, Wellington on Monday 25 November offers a chance to tackle some of life’s most fundamental questions, including the nature of reality and the meaning of life.

Seven inaugural Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair appointments to mark 150th

Monday 30 September 2019

In a new initiative, the University is celebrating its internationally acclaimed scholars by creating a prestigious new role - the Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair (Poutoko Taiea).

Otago academic to head new national cancer strategy

Monday 2 September 2019

The new interim National Director of Cancer Control, University of Otago academic Professor Diana Sarfati, believes lives will be saved as a result of the new National Cancer Action Plan.

Teenagers say ‘nope’ to dope

Friday 16 August 2019

New research from the University of Otago, Wellington, has shed light on the declining use of cannabis use by teens.

Old vaccine brings new surprises

Friday 19 July 2019

New research about an old vaccine – one that has been in use for nearly 100 years – has not only shown how effective it is but also suggests it improves our immune response to a wider range of bacteria than originally intended.

HRC Grants of almost $35 million to Division of Health Sciences researchers

Thursday 27 June 2019

Beta blockers, smoking cessation, stress suppression in motherhood and synthetic cannabinoid signalling are just a few of the areas of University of Otago Division of Health Sciences research to receive a total of almost $35 million in funding this year from the Health Research Council.

Butting Out: Researchers gauge public opinion on tobacco product waste

Friday 14 June 2019

Requiring cigarettes to contain biodegradable filters, fining smokers who litter cigarette butts and expanding smoke free outdoor areas are measures the public considers are most likely to reduce tobacco product waste, new University of Otago research reveals.

Opinion: Why are taxpayers subsidising licensed firearms owners?

Wednesday 22 May 2019

OPINION: Online comment from some local gun lobbyists after the Christchurch shooting bypassed sympathy and jumped straight to worries about government "taking our guns away". Despite such attitudes, firearm owners are happy for the rest of us to subsidise them through our taxes.

Otago’s emerging researchers secure more than $1.7 million in HRC funding

Thursday 16 May 2019

An occupational therapist who aims to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities is one of several University of Otago early-stage researchers who have together been awarded more than $1.7 million in Health Research Council funding.

Making the homeless count

Thursday 9 May 2019

When Dr Kate Amore began researching homelessness for her PhD at the University of Otago, Wellington, the country was in denial that the issue was even a problem, she says.

Housing WOFs need to be combined with education, study shows

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Alongside funding and regulatory support, understanding how housing affects health and safety can spur owners to make improvements to their properties, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and WISE Better Homes have found.

Kids’ everyday exposure to food marketing

Monday 8 April 2019

You can view an introduction to a paper where Professor Louise Signal is a lead author. Her research used cameras on children to study their exposure to food marketing.

Otago researchers call for urgent law change

Sunday 17 March 2019

Firearms law changes promised by the Prime Minister are long overdue, according to experts in the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, Dr Marie Russell and Dr Hera Cook.

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Friday 15 March 2019

The University of Otago community stands shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community. Following the tragic events in Christchurch last Friday, several events are being held on the Dunedin campus on Thursday, 21 March.

Train station signs send weak smokefree signal

Friday 22 February 2019

More than 20 per cent of the 54 railway stations in the lower North Island have no smokefree signs at all and many others have signs of poor quality, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington have found.

Are we closing the health gap?

Thursday 21 February 2019

Listen to Professor Louise Signal, Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, participate in a radio panel interview considering progress in addressing health inequities.

New Zealand leads global effort to control rheumatic fever

Monday 11 February 2019

A three-year project aimed at pinpointing the most effective ways to prevent and control rheumatic fever and associated heart disease in New Zealand is being launched tomorrow (Tuesday 12 February) at the University of Otago, Wellington.

‘Choosing Wisely’ reduces unnecessary tests and antibiotic use, study finds

Tuesday 22 January 2019

A Hutt Valley District Health Board campaign to cut the number of urine tests being carried out on hospital patients not only significantly reduced the number of unnecessary tests being ordered but also lowered the level of antibiotic prescribing, a study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal has found.

Licence to Swill: James Bond’s drinking over six decades

Monday 10 December 2018

He may be licensed to kill but fictional British secret service agent James Bond has a severe alcohol use disorder, according to an analysis of his drinking behaviour published in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Christmas issue.

Sobering insights into alcohol marketing and Māori children

Thursday 1 November 2018

Innovative camera research has revealed that New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing in their residential and school neighbourhoods. The collaborative research by the Universities of Otago and Auckland, found children’s exposure to alcohol marketing was higher in neighbourhoods with greater numbers of alcohol outlets and for Māori participants.

Flavoured capsule cigarettes pose a threat to smokefree goals

Tuesday 23 October 2018

New research from ASPIRE2025, a University of Otago research theme, challenges tobacco companies’ claims they are working towards a smokefree world and suggests young people are vulnerable to tobacco companies’ product innovations.

Six Otago researchers recognised in NZ research honours

Thursday 18 October 2018

University of Otago Research Fellow Helen Taylor’s science communication around conservation genetics and threatened species has earned her recognition at this year’s New Zealand Research Honours.

Researchers call for end to fat stigma

Thursday 11 October 2018

Researchers are using World Obesity Day today to call for an end to the stigma which fat people experience in their daily lives.

Tackling diet-related disease in New Zealand

Monday 3 September 2018

Unhealthy diet is the leading preventable risk for poor health in New Zealand. Diet-related diseases (and how we manage them) is becoming a pressing issue for the country.

Honing in on the key ingredients for successful self-management of chronic pain

Friday 24 August 2018

The outlook for the one in five New Zealanders with persistent or chronic pain has the potential to be more positive according to an extensive study review by researchers from the School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) and Pain Management Service, Capital Coast District Health Board.

Major fundamental changes required to achieve health equity

Monday 9 July 2018

In comparing efforts to address health inequities, researchers in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ) and the United States (US) have found that both countries are failing to align policy with evidence-based approaches that could help achieve equity.

Junk food dominates NZ sport

Monday 9 July 2018

Junk food dominates New Zealand sport venues, according to new research led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

Cold New Zealand council housing getting an upgrade

Wednesday 30 May 2018

University of Otago, Wellington researchers are advocating for standards to bring all New Zealand housing up to the World Health Organization minimum standard which recommends indoor temperature of 18 degrees celcius.

Obesity a tough topic for GPs, Otago research reveals

Friday 18 May 2018

New University of Otago research highlights the difficulties for GPs of discussing obesity with patients who are overweight and signals the need for resources to support them and other community health providers in this role.

Taxing sugary drinks a no-brainer for New Zealand

Wednesday 4 April 2018

On 1 April 2018, the United Kingdom introduced a sugary drinks tax, an important public health measure that University of Otago, Wellington, public health researchers believe should be happening in New Zealand too.

Yoghurt may reduce eczema and allergy in infancy

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Yoghurt given to infants in the first year of life may protect them from developing eczema and allergy, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, and the University of Auckland have found.

Summer Studentship programme 2017/2018

Monday 26 March 2018

University of Otago, Wellington hosts the Summer Studentship Programme each year.  The Department of Medicine has had a number of students this summer participating in 10 week research projects.

Out of prison and back to smoking?

Friday 23 February 2018

A lack of support means many prisoners relapse back to smoking on release, despite many wanting to stay smokefree, a new study has found.

Considering public health issues- the 22nd Public Health Summer School

Monday 5 February 2018

Leading international and New Zealand health experts will be in Wellington to participate in the 22nd Public Health Summer School run by the University of Otago, Wellington in February. The Public Health Summer School will be officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark on 7 February.

Predator Free 2050 has major benefits for human health

Monday 15 January 2018

The Predator Free 2050 campaign to rid New Zealand of rats and possums will have major benefits for human health as well as for native plants and animals, says University of Otago, Wellington public health researcher Dr Mary McIntyre.

How do firearms, floods and flu impact public health?

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Firearms and public health, impacts of New Zealand’s most common natural hazard - flooding, and lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic are just some of the courses and seminar talks being offered by the University of Otago, Wellington’s Public Health Summer School.

Otago health researchers gain career development awards

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Four up–and–coming University of Otago researchers have each been awarded around $500,000 from the Health Research Council (HRC) to pursue world-class projects aimed at improving New Zealander’s health and wellbeing and contributing to international progress in these areas.

Improving assessment of acute abdominal pain

Friday 6 October 2017

Surgical admissions for people with abdominal pain to Wellington Hospital’s department of general surgery have nearly doubled over the past decade, a University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) study has found.

Book shines spotlight on our cities

Tuesday 19 September 2017

A new book sets out important ideas for helping New Zealand cities resolve the challenges of providing quality, affordable housing, designing healthy transport systems and dealing with climate change.

New medical device for brain monitoring at the bedside

Monday 18 September 2017

A University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) team has been awarded an MBIE Endeavour grant this week to develop a non-invasive and cost-effective device to diagnose and treat stroke and other brain injuries.

Study shows most NZ playgrounds lack smokefree signs

Thursday 24 August 2017

A new study of the smokefree signs at 63 New Zealand playgrounds has found that less than half of the playgrounds (44 per cent) had any such signs. Even when present, many of the signs were small and poorly designed, with some being only postcard sized.

Quitline is good value-for-money - new study

Monday 21 August 2017

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington has found New Zealand’s Quitline service is a highly cost-effective way to improve health and even saves the health system money.

Obstetric providers need greater support for new prenatal screening test

Friday 4 August 2017

A new study shows most New Zealand obstetric providers need more support when providing a revolutionary genetic prenatal screening test because of its complexity and because it is not publicly funded.

New Centre for Translational Physiology launched in Wellington

Monday 31 July 2017

A unique centre that will forge new links between health researchers and clinicians, working on solutions for complex diseases such as diabetes, obesity and stroke, is being launched at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) this week.

Pathways to achieve Smokefree NZ – new study

Thursday 29 June 2017

New modelling research has shown the major ways for reducing smoking on the path to New Zealand’s smokefree goal by 2025. University of Otago, Wellington researchers are calling for these new measures to be considered by the New Zealand Government.

Setting the world on a course toward sustainable development

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Not all good policies, in isolation, lead to an overall good outcome. Interactions and linkages between policies are what will lead us towards a more sustainable world, according to a new International Council for Science (ICSU) report.