EHI Newsletter #7 - Nov 2014

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Barry's blurb

It is with great pleasure and pride that I introduce the latest newsletter from the Environmental Health Indicators (EHI) team.

Undoubtedly, the major recent achievement in our work programme has been launch of the revamped EHI website, which is the centrepiece of this newsletter. Kylie and Andrew expertly lead an enthusiastic EHI team, and were ably assisted by our design wizards Catherine and Jennah at OpenLab, and Graeme at MCK Design & Print.

I am sure you will agree the website is a wonderful asset, and an outstanding contribution to our monitoring the environmental health of New Zealand.

As always, we welcome any comments and suggestions you have about our work and, of course, the website. 

Best wishes

Barry Borman

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New EHI website goes live

We launched the new EHI website ( in September, making it more useful and user-friendly for people looking for environmental health information for New Zealand. The website now has more information on environmental health hazards, exposures and health effects in New Zealand, as well as interactive graphs and maps.  

You can now find the following on the EHI website:

  • up-to-date information and data on our Environmental Health Indicators
  • indicators organised by domain – eg air quality, drinking water, indoor environment
  • new indicators on climate change, populations at risk
  • interactive graphs and maps
  • downloadable factsheets and publications
  • links to other useful websites.

We're always keen to improve what we do, so if you have any suggestions for the website, please email us at  

Climate Change indicators released

ClimateChangeCloudsWe released new environmental health indicators for climate change in September. These indicators help assess the health impacts of climate in New Zealand, and were developed by Maria Poynter as part of her public health registrar training at CPHR. 

These indicators were important to develop, as there’s clear evidence that the world’s climate is changing, and that New Zealand’s weather is also very likely to change. Scientists predict that New Zealand will experience more hot days, more rainfall in some regions, less rainfall and/or droughts in other regions, more days with very high and extreme fire danger, and stronger winds in some regions.

The climate change indicators include the following:

Key findings, maps of regional changes over time, and factsheets on these indicators are available on the climate change section of the website. Interactive maps of the data are also available on CPHROnline

Interactive maps showcased on the website

As part of our new website, Andrew has developed online interactive maps for our Environmental Health Indicators. We've now got online interactive maps for a range of indicators. You can find maps for the following indicators:

You can also see 'movies' of maps over time, for the following climate change indicators:

The geographic data is also available through our other website, CPHROnline.   

Environmental Health Indicators - grouped and updated







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Our Environmental Health Indicators are now grouped into nine domains on the website, based on various aspects of environmental health. These domains and indicators are:

  • Air qualitywood and coal fires, vehicles, air quality levels, health impact

  • Recreational water: livestock, freshwater and coastal water quality, water-borne diseases

  • Drinking wateraccess to safe drinking-water, water-borne diseases, fluoridated water, oral health of children

  • Climate changechanges in temperature, rainfall and drought, and health impacts

  • Indoor environmentcold and damp homes, household crowding, second-hand smoke, health impacts

  • Hazardous substancesinjuries and diseases from exposure to hazardous substances

  • Biosecurity: vector-borne diseases, international infectious disease outbreaks

  • UV exposure: ultraviolet (UV) levels, melanoma, vitamin D deficiency

  • Population information: population groups more at risk from environmental hazards, demographic information

We are constantly updating the factsheets as new information comes in.  Since July, we have released a range of factsheets:

To download a factsheet, visit the relevant indicator webpage, or go to the factsheet publications page

Highlights from the EHI factsheets




  • There were 42 million livestock in New Zealand in 2013

  • The number of livestock declined 17% during 2002 to 2013


  • New Zealand had 597 passenger cars per 1,000 populations. This was higher than Australia, Japan, United Kingdom and United States.

  • New Zealand had an older vehicle fleet than Australia, Canada and the USA.

Vector-borne disease

  • In 2013, 167 cases of vector-borne diseases were notified in New Zealand, a 39% increase from 2012.

  • In the last 5 years, 95% of all vector-borne disease events had an overseas travel history.

New maps of environmental health information on CPHROnline

To match the relaunched EHI website, the EHI Atlas on CPHROnline has also been given a new look. Themes match those found on the EHI site and contain the same groups of indicators. This provides consistency and easy navigation between the two sites.

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Visit the CPHROnline EHI Atlas. 

EHI team presents at Population Health Congress

The EHI team shared their environmental health work at the recent Population Health Congress in Auckland.  These presentations were well-received, and helped raise the profile of our group. 

To download the presentations, click the topics or go to the presentation page.

Waikato Progress Indicators – Tupuranga Waikato

We recently found a good example of environment and wellbeing monitoring at the local level - the Waikato Progress Indicators (WPI) – Tupuranga Waikato.

Waikato Regional Council has developed these indicators to measure the Waikato region's progress. The indicators identify the current situation and trends cross 32 key economic, environmental and social aspects. Summary reports, report cards and scorecards are available. For more information, visit the Waikato Progress Indicators website

Interested in postgraduate study? 

Massey University offers a range of postgraduate papers and programmes in public health, which are taught through CPHR. These include

  • Postgraduate study in environmental health and epidemiology
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health
  • Master of Public Health
  • PhD.

Registrations for next year are open now. For more information, visit our Training page.   


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Environmental Health Newsletter Issue 7

Our mailing address is:
Centre of Public Health Research, Block 3, Level D, Entrance B Wallace Street, Mount Cook, Wellington 6021, New Zealand.