MNZEH Newsletter #3
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Welcome to this issue of CPHR’s MNZEH newsletter. Since the last issue, Deborah and I attended the joint meeting of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES), and the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) in Basel, Switzerland. The theme was ‘Bridging South, North, East and West’. Inevitably, with more than 1800 participants from more than 70 countries, there was an overwhelming choice of oral and poster presentations to hear and see.

The dominant topics of the conference (and typically whenever it is held in Europe) were air pollution first, second and third. The abstracts for the conference can be downloaded from Environmental Health Perspectives (10.9MB). I would recommend reading the two very interesting editorials: one by the host organisers of the conference: Nino Künzli, Martina S. Ragettli, and Martin Röösli: The Vision of a Green(er) Scientific Conference ( and the second by Alan Lopez: Reducing risks to health: what can we learn from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study. International Journal of Public Health October 2013, Volume 58, (5): 645-646 (
As always, we welcome any suggestions and comments you have about our programme for Monitoring the Environmental Health of New Zealand 


Farewell and Welcome

The EHINZ team said a sad farewell to Saira Dayal in July, who worked and travelled with the HSDIRT team, helping to establish and teach the new Bpac system for Hazardous Substances reporting. As Saira carries on to complete her specialist training, the team welcomes on board a new registrar, Maria Poynter.
Maria has taken over the primary care communications aspects of the HSDIRT programme.She is also completing a project to develop environmental health indicators of climate change. Maria comes to us from Regional Public Health, and is part-way through completing specialist training in public health medicine.
In September we welcomed two new members to join our EHINZ team. Fei Xu and Andrew Parnell. Fei was trained in Public Health area for 6 years and has just finished her postgraduate study in Public Health from Auckland University. She joined us to work on the development of surveillance of environmental health indicators, harzardous substances and occupational diseases projects.
Andrew Parnell has a background in GIS and an Honours degree in Human Geography. He is on his way to complete his Master's degree in GIS through Victoria University. At the moment, Andrew is working in the Environmental Health Indicators team and is involved in the use and the analysis of the national health datasets.

MNZEH Project Updates

The Environmental Health Indicators team is undertaking a project to develop environmental health indicators (EHIs) related to climate change.
This is part of the larger environmental health indicators project.
The climate change EHI project will build on previous work done in New Zealand and overseas, and aims to provide well-presented, useful information about markers of climate change to a wide audience including policy makers, wider agencies and interested individuals.  The work is being led by Maria Poynter.
Stakeholders will be invited to provide comments on the draft indicators in early 2014, with the project due for completion at the end of June 2014. 
For further information, or to registrar your interest, please contact:
Maria Poynter
(04) 801 5799 ext 63122

Have you been having any difficulties accessing CPHROnline recently?

Over the past few months we have been busy working with a consultant in Sydney to upgrade CPHROnline.  As well as a snazzy new look (Picture 1), it has direct links to more popular dataviews to improve user accessibility.

We have also moved to a dedicated virtual server. You may have experienced difficulties accessing the site whilst the move was underway. However with the new site now live things should be running more smoothly.

Over the coming months we will be updating many of the indicators and developing new local area profiles. HTML files are also being added so reports can be opened on tablets and smartphones.

Also look out for a series of “How to Use” You Tube clips coming soon!

The NZBDR has been admitted as a World Affiliate Member of EUROCAT (European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies) (

Data on the number of birth defects ascertained among livebirths in 2011 has been sent to the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research (ICBDSR) for inclusion in the annual report on the international monitoring of birth defects.

Prevalence data on the NZBDR website ( is currently being updated, we are continuing to investigate options for the monitoring of birth defects among terminations of pregnancy.
Picture 1
During the Roadshows held earlier this year there was a lot of interest in mapping the distribution of liquor licensed premises. Shown below (Picture 2) is an example of what this can look like at a local level. These maps aim to give context to the population who live near the various premises and are available on request from Caroline Fyfe

The map shows an expected clustering of licensed premises near the intersection of Dee with Tay Streets in Invercargill’s city centre. Census Area Units with NZDep Deprivation Deciles 9 and 10 are dispersed in the city centre, the industrial areas east and south of the city centre and in residential areas in the west and southwest of the city.

Picture 2

Short Course on Survey Methods

A short course covers the key steps in developing and conducting a survey. 

Topics included: 
Determining objectives, specifying population of interest, identifying the sampling frame, determining precision required, deciding type of investigation needed, determining collection method, developing and testing the collection instrument, and specifying the sampling method. The major sources of errors in a survey will also be considered.

Our presenters:
Professor David Steel                                     Professor Steve Haslett     
Director, National Institute for                                             
Professor of Statistics
Applied Statistics Research Australia                              Massey University
University of Wollongong                                                    

Date: 11th-12th November 2013

Time: 9 am - 5 pm

Location:  Centre for Public Health Research,Massey University,
                       Seminar Room, Level 1,102 Adelaide Road, Wellington

Cost: $450.00 (including morning/afternoon tea)

For registration details please contact either:
Katharine Haddock – or
Associate Professor Barry Borman -

Short Course on Regression and Causal Modelling in Epidemiology

An intermediate/advanced level course in the use of regression for effect estimation and causal modelling in epidemiology. 

Morning session: covers the basic principles of multiple regression analysis including assessment of confounding and multicollinearity, advanced methods for controlling multiple confounders, and the principles of assessment of effect measure modification. 

Afternoon session: covers more advanced topics including Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs), advanced methods for causal inference, and Bayesian methods. This session will also include an opportunity to discuss particular modelling issues arising from the research of the course participants. 

This is not an introductory course, and participants will be required to have completed an introductory course in epidemiology and/or biostatistics or have equivalent research experience.

Our presenter:  
Professor Neil Pearce
                                    Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
                                    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Professor Pearce is Director of the Centre for Global NCDs, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. During 2000-2010 he was Director of the Centre for Public Health Research in the Research School of Public Health on the Massey University Wellington Campus. 

During 1980-1988 he co-authored the leading textbook of occupational epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press in 1989 (the 2nd edition was published in 2004).He has also authored a textbook of asthma epidemiology which was published by Oxford University Press in 1998. He works in a broad range of areas of epidemiological NCD research including epidemiological methods, respiratory disease, neurological disease, cancer, diabetes, indigenous health, and occupational and environmental health research. 
Date: 12th December 2013

Time: 9 am - 5 pm

Location:  Centre for Public Health Research,Massey University,
                        Seminar Room, Level 1,102 Adelaide Road, Wellington

Cost: $225.00 (including morning/afternoon tea)

For registration details please contact either:
Katharine Haddock – or
Associate Professor Barry Borman -

Environmental Health Websites

The MNZEH team would love to recommend you our CPHROnline (, which maps health data, and Environmental Health Indicators websites: reports on 60 core environmental health indicators.  More recently Caroline’s reports and interactive maps stimulated a lot of interest and questions, and the website has subsequently had thousands of hits. In the coming month, fact sheets regarding New Zealand vector-borne diseases, water-borne diseases, rheumatic fever and meningococcal disease will be updated on our EHINZ website, be sure to have a look.

Postgraduate Study

We would like to bring your attention to training opportunities CPHR is providing in environmental health. Firstly, the environmental health paper which is part of our postgraduate diploma in public health. Click here for more details.
Secondly, Professor David Steel, University of Wollongong, Australia, as well as Professor Steve Haslett, Massey University, will conduct a 2 days short course on survey method, from Monday 11th to Tuesday 12th November 2013. On 12th December, Professor Neil Pearce, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is going to provide a short course on Regression and Causal Modelling in Epidemiology.
Registration details can be obtained from 
Katharine Haddock – or
Associate Professor Barry Borman -
Copyright © *|2013|* *|Centre for Public Health Research|*, All rights reserved.
*|Environmental Health Newsletter Issue 3|*

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*|Centre of Public Health research, Level 1, 102 Adelaide Road, Wellington, New Zealand. 6021| 

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