Public Health Observatory NZ

Public Health Observatory New Zealand

The Public Health Observatory New Zealand (PHONZ) has been established to provide a forum for people interested in health intelligence to collaborate, exchange ideas, and meet other people locally, nationally and internationally with a similar interest. It will be a repository for health intelligence news, work, etc.

The health system, which is undergoing a great change, presents an ideal opportunity for PHONZ. Like all health systems, New Zealand continues to collect and collate vast quantities of data at an increasing rate. These data are being turned into information at great speed through various types of analysis, the proliferation of dashboards, and other visual aids (graphs, tables etc). These stages are essentially “computer” or machine-driven and underpin much of our current decision-making. (see EHINZ Analytical Standards for information on how to interpret analyses and present data)

In contrast, our health system has a limited and fragmented health intelligence (ie human) capacity and capability. Intelligence involves the interpretation, communication and dissemination of information. PHONZ is designed to address these deficiencies and provide NZ with greater ‘intelligence’ driven” decision making. The evaluation of decision-making leads to enhanced knowledge and understanding of our health system and improving the outcomes for all New Zealanders.

A steering group, PHONZ, has been formed to guide its establishment and strategic direction. The members are:

  • Barry Borman, Professor of Epidemiology, Massey University (
  • Corina Grey,  public health physician and epidemiologist, Auckland DHB, and currently, seconded to the Transition Unit (
  • Peter Himona, Senior Analyst, Māori Health Insights, Māori Health, Ministry of Health (
  • Tim Hopley, Senior Advisor, Environmental and Border Health, Ministry of Health (
  • Kurt Janssen, CEO, Orbica, Christchurch (
  • Ron King, Intelligence and Surveillance Specialist, ARPHS (
  • Dyfed Thomas, Manager, The Public Health Intelligence and Policy (PHIP) team, Waikato DHB (
  • Dr Chris Skelly, Analytical Programme Manager, Department of Health and Social Care, UK

A copy of the first PHONZ newsletter can be downloaded from here.

If you would like to become a member of PHONZ, please enter your details here.

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