Healthier Lives event announcement and newsletter, January 2024

22 January 2024

  • Upcoming event: Healthier Lives Kōrero Tahi 2024: equity and beyond
  • Research results: The Getting Around Surveys 2022
  • Event recordings: International nutrition guideline development; Te Kāika DiRECT
  • In the news: New Zealand’s dependence on driving; Healthy food policies
  • Featured articles
  • Congratulations

Upcoming event:

We invite you to join the livestream of the

Healthier Lives Kōrero Tahi 2024: equity and beyond

13-14 February, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

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Healthier Lives is bringing together our researchers and kaupapa partners (stakeholders) at Kōrero Tahi 2024 to promote the uptake and implementation of research findings.

This event features two keynote speakers:

Professor Nick Wareham, University of Cambridge, will discuss the upstream measures needed to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Mr Max Rashbrooke, Victoria University of Wellington, will continue this prevention focus by addressing the economic drivers of ill-health in New Zealand.

Healthier Lives investigators will outline how their research evidence can equitably improve the health and wellbeing of those living in Aotearoa. Presentations will focus on our three research themes – healthy food and physical activity environments, precision medicine, and culturally engaged healthcare for Māori and Pacific people – with stakeholders leading the discussion for each of these topics.

An important feature of this event is the official launch of the report Co-designing health research in Aotearoa New Zealand. This Kaupapa Māori evaluation of Healthier Lives’ co-designed research projects, and an accompanying short guide, will be useful resources for researchers working with communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This event is being recorded and livestreamed, so that everyone can access the kōrero about how Healthier Lives research can make a difference in the lives of all New Zealanders.

Registration details for the livestream and more information about the programme are available at the livestream registration link below.

Places at Te Papa are currently full, but if you would like to go on the waiting list to attend the event in person, you can indicate this on the livestream registration page.

Livestream registration

Research results: The Getting Around Surveys 2022

Researchers are using innovative ways to communicate study results to participants.

The ACTIVATION project team, funded by Healthier Lives and Ageing Well, have produced illustrated leaflets that summarise residents’ responses to surveys about shared and active transport options in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Read more here

Event recordings

Healthier Lives research was highlighted at the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre 20th anniversary symposium in November 2023, and these presentations are now available to view online.

International nutrition guideline development

Dr Andrew Reynolds outlined the processes used for developing international nutrition guidelines, giving examples of World Health Organisation and European guidelines that his research has helped to inform.

Dr Andrew Reynolds – presentation at Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research 20th anniversary event (November 2023)

Te Kāika DiRECT

Dr Kim Ma’ia’i described preliminary results from the Te Kāika DiRECT pilot study, which is being undertaken at a Māori medical practice in Dunedin. These promising findings bode well for the future use of the DiRECT protocol in Aotearoa New Zealand to help achieve remission of type 2 diabetes.

Dr Kim Ma’ia’i – presentation at Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research 20th anniversary event (November 2023)

Keynote speaker Professor Mike Lean (University of Glasgow), who has been centrally involved in the development of the DiRECT protocol, described how the programme came into being and explained how it can prevent the complications of type 2 diabetes.

Professor Mike Lean – presentation at Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research 20th anniversary event (November 2023)

In the news

The cost of New Zealand’s extreme dependence on driving

A Newsroom article, co-authored by Healthier Lives principal investigator Professor Alistair Woodward, outlines why advice from the Climate Change Commission identifying walking, cycling, and public transport as ‘best buys’ to reduce our emissions, will also significantly reduce ill health and prevent early deaths.

The authors suggest that if we want to reduce the pressure on our health care systems, investing in walking and cycling projects to lower New Zealand’s high rates of transport-related preventable diseases and injuries are also some of the ‘best buys’ in health.

Threat to walking and cycling a threat to health

Public support for healthy food policies

A recent briefing from the Public Health Communication Centre Aotearoa (PHCC), co-authored by Healthier Lives principal investigator Dr Cristina Cleghorn, reveals strong public support for government intervention to solve a range of food-related issues facing this country.

The report from Te Rōpū Rangahau ō Te Kāhui Matepukupuku (Cancer Society Research Collaboration) showed wide public support for the introduction of evidence-based food policies. Alongside this clear mandate for government action, the authors reiterated the recent call from seven National Science Challenges for a New Zealand Food Strategy.

Strong public support for healthy food policies in Aotearoa

Featured articles

In her Healthier Lives research, Professor Sue Crengle and her team are pioneering tools to ensure that the implementation of new health programmes will result in equitable outcomes, particularly for Māori.

Professor Crengle was featured in an issue of the University of Otago’s He Kitenga magazine, which celebrated the accomplishments and deep commitment of its recent Professorial recipients.

You can read about Professor Crengle’s research journey on page 32 of He Kitenga [PDF], or watch her inaugural professorial lecture.

Dr Amohia Boulton, Director of Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development, and a member of the Healthier Lives Governance Group and Kāhui Māori, has authored an article in the British Medical Journal on the proposed repeal of the Smokefree legislation.

Her opinion piece describes why New Zealand’s decision to scrap anti-smoking legislation will do immeasurable harm and undo decades of work to reduce inequities in Māori health outcomes. She highlights a critical part of the Smokefree legislation which, if repealed, will have implications for many generations to come:

“Of course, we must support adults to quit smoking, but we think it’s even more important that our children never have the opportunity to inhale nicotine in the first place.”

New Zealand’s decision to scrap anti-smoking legislation will do immeasurable harm

Warm congratulations

Mr Tevita Filisonu’u Funaki, CEO of The Fono and a valued Kaupapa partner of Healthier Lives, was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Pacific health in the 2024 New Year Honours.

Healthier Lives investigator Dr Helen Fitt (University of Otago Christchurch) was awarded a grant of $114,816 from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board for the project, Exploring access to food, social connection, and healthcare for residents of social housing.

Healthier Lives investigator Dr Christine Barthow (University of Otago Wellington) was awarded a grant of $119,947 from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board for the project, Pacific aiga and general practice perspectives on intergenerational diabetes and an ideal model of care: A multiple case study. She also received a Health Research Council Health Delivery Research Career Development Award valued at $146,888 for the project, Challenges to health equity: service provision in a low-cost general practice.

View our 2019-24 Research Strategy

He Pikinga Waiora Research Findings Brief

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