Public Health Reports: Evidence-based public health action

Effective public health action is informed by evidence. The Christchurch Information Team supports public health practice through the provision of best evidence. The team carries out a range of activities to inform the work of our organisation, the wider health sector, and other partnering organisations, including:

  • literature searches;
  • reviews of best practice and evidence;
  • evaluation;
  • questionnaire or instrument development and design;
  • qualitative and quantitative data analysis;
  • infectious diseases surveillance;
  • information systems design; and
  • data capture and management.

2018 Reports

BuyCycles: Evaluation of a novel approach towards alleviating transport disadvantage [1.33MB] New.

Date of Publication: October 2018

Transport is a determinant of health that enables access to employment and education opportunities, recreation and social activities, health and social services, and resources for everyday life. However, people may experience transport disadvantage when they cannot access appropriate, timely or affordable transport options.

BuyCycles is a health promotion initiative using a supported purchase model, developed by Community and Public Health. The BuyCycles pilot offers clients of community mental health services in Christchurch an opportunity to purchase a second-hand bicycle at a low cost and develop a suitable payment plan. This evaluation looked at the first seven months of the pilot, up until 31st August 2018.

The First 1000 Days: A South Island report for the Hauora Alliance [1.47MB] New.

Date of Publication: September 2018

Recent years have seen numerous calls to action on early childhood both in New Zealand and overseas. A growing body of evidence confirms that experiences during the first 1000 days – the period from conception until a child’s second birthday – have a far-reaching impact on health, educational, and social outcomes, and on health equity.

The purpose of this report is to inform inter-sectoral planning, action, and monitoring to support the best start in life for every child in the South Island/ Te Waipounamu. It has been prepared for the Hauora Alliance to inform planning by the Alliance and its member organisations.

Health promotion in early childhood education settings: Rapid evidence review [1.62MB]

Date of Publication: June 2018

Development during early childhood lays the foundation for health, education, social, employment and economic outcomes throughout the life course. Many young New Zealand children spend time in early childhood education (ECE) settings, making them an ideal location for health promotion.

This rapid evidence review presents evidence from recently-published reviews on the effectiveness of health promotion interventions in several areas – sun safety, physical activity, oral health, nutrition, social and emotional wellbeing, and hand hygiene – delivered in ECE settings. Literature from New Zealand is included where relevant.

Pastoral care and pastoral care teams: a review to inform policy and practice in schools [1.40MB]

Date of Publication: February 2018

There is limited guidance available to schools about pastoral care best practice – about how to actually do the work of pastoral care in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and their families/whānau – although there is much talk about the importance of pastoral care and the work of pastoral care teams.

This review was prepared in response to requests from schools who wanted to know more. It brings together the findings of a search of peer-reviewed literature, relevant websites and other grey literature, and also presents the findings of interviews conducted with teachers and other key professionals about their involvement in, and experience of, pastoral care teams in school settings.

Evaluation of Thursdays in Black at Lincoln University [0.98MB]

Date of Publication: February 2018

Thursdays in Black is an international campaign that works to ‘raise awareness and progress towards a world without rape and violence’. Thursdays in Black (TIB) has been adapted and delivered for the student population at Lincoln University since 2016.

This evaluation indicates that the TIB campaign has had high visibility on the Lincoln University campus, and the campaign is seen by students as important and empowering by offering ‘new knowledge and how to deal with difficult situations.’

2017 Reports

Education setting-based health promotion in New Zealand: evaluating the wellbeing and vitality in education (WAVE) programme

Date of Publication: November 2017 in the Health Promotion International

Wellbeing and vitality in education (WAVE) is an education setting based health promotion initiative in South Canterbury, New Zealand. A mixed method approach was used for assessing change over time. Evaluation of the WAVE programme shows that a robust partnership between health and education sectors can provide the basis for high levels of participation and significant changes in practice across all levels of education and a whole province.

Alcohol use by West Coast young people: A survey of young people’s and adults’ views [1.57MB PDF]

Date of Publication: August 2017

This report summarises the findings from the West Coast student alcohol survey and the West Coast adult alcohol survey completed between March and May 2017. Local data was collected to raise awareness across the West Coast on any issues relating to alcohol use by young people.

This report provides information that may assist health promoters, schools, and partner agencies with reducing alcohol-related harm in their communities (especially for more vulnerable groups).

Evaluative Case Study: Gap Filler a creative urban regeneration initiative – a public health perspective [2.66MB PDF]

Date of Publication: May 2017

Gap Filler (a registered charity) emerged following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/11 and responded with a large number of innovative urban regeneration initiatives. Gap Filler has been prolific in the delivery of a broad range of artistic, creative, educational, enabling and inspiring interventions that have gained considerable profile and following among locals and visitors alike. The projects have ranged from small short-term installations or activities to major medium-term architectural-build projects.

This evaluative case study highlights some of the complexities inherent in measuring the ‘effects’ of community-level wellbeing interventions. The report also discusses recovery, resilience and wellbeing concepts generally as well as exploring the attributes of successful community-based initiatives. Finally, the report proposes considerations for funders and other stakeholders.

Evaluation of Community and Public Health’s contribution to the Integrated Assessment of the Waimakariri Residential Red Zone Recovery Plan [908KB PDF]

Date of Publication: February 2017

The Minister for Earthquake Recovery directed the Waimakariri District Council (WDC) to produce a statutory plan to guide the recovery of the Waimakariri residential red zones in September 2015. The direction required the WDC to carry out an impact assessment as part of the planning process.

WDC requested support from Community and Public Health (C&PH) to perform an integrated assessment. This report evaluates the approach taken by Community and Public Health to assist the Waimakariri District Council with this impact assessment.

Active and public transport infrastructure: a public health perspective [4.41MB PDF]

Date of Publication: May 2016 – revised Feburary 2017

This literature review provides public health unit staff, planners and decision makers with an overview of transport planning principles and a summary of the key infrastructure initiatives (and their application, including retrofitting) that help to provide a safe, healthy and efficient active and public transport network.

2016 Reports

Associations between urban characteristics and non-communicable diseases: Rapid evidence review [1.73MB PDF]

Date of Publication: October 2016

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of health loss in Aotearoa New Zealand, and contribute to significant inequities. There is substantial opportunity for NCD prevention through effective population health interventions, as many of the risk factors for NCDs are modifiable. The physical (natural and built) and social environment are determinants of health with the potential to impact health and equity through influencing behaviour and safety. Creating urban environments that support health will impact a large number of people, given most of our population lives in urban areas.

Evaluation of a well-being campaign following a natural disaster in Christchurch, New Zealand

Date of Publication: August 2016 in the International Journal of Mental Health Promotion

The All Right? campaign was developed as an over-arching mental health promotion campaign following the 2010-2011 earthquake sequence (Christchurch, New Zealand). To our knowledge this campaign is unique in promoting population wide psychosocial well-being following a disaster.

The campaign has achieved a wide reach within the affected population and high levels of agreement from those surveyed who were aware of the campaign that the messages were helpful. Success factors included: strong relationships between key agencies prior to a disaster, local research to inform the use of appropriate language for translating evidence based well-being messages into a local setting, not being marketed as a government message whilst maintaining strong relationships with key agencies.

In addition to the mass appeal of the All Right? campaign, targeted campaigns from the inception would have been beneficial, in particular to reach Māori and Pacific communities. As a result of the evaluation findings, this more specifically focused messaging has been developed.

Evaluation of the adoption and implementation of the Christchurch City Council smokefree social housing policy [2.53Mb PDF]

Date of Publication: April 2016

This process evaluation presents findings on the merit, worth, importance and implementation of the Christchurch City Council’s social housing smokefree policy — to inform the future refinement of the programme and to inform the development and implementation of similar partnership-based (Health in All Policies) initiatives.

Third-hand tobacco smoke exposure and implications for public health: A background paper [683Kb PDF]

Date of Publication: January 2016

The negative health effects of smoking and second-hand smoke (SHS) are well established. However the concept of third-hand tobacco smoke (THS) is an emerging area of interest in public health.

While THS is invisible in contrast to active smoking and SHS, it also leads to involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke products. This background paper provides a brief summary of current evidence relating to THS exposure and its implications for public health.


For more information on the work of the Public Health Analysts or to provide feedback, contact:

Colleen Moore
Ph: +64 3 378 6777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

Healthspace: a new online health data website

Healthspace is an online visualisation tool for health-related data in New Zealand – developed by Massey University’s Environmental Health Indicators (EHI) team.

Healthspace includes data, maps and profiles of more than 20 different health-related topics such as:

  • alcohol related harm;
  • cancer rates;
  • hospital use;
  • notifiable diseases; and
  • census information.

Users can subscribe to be updated when new information is posted – making it a valuable resource for everyone from students to policy makers.

Page last updated: 26/11/2018

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