PHONZ - Public Health Observatory NZ

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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 others locally, nationally and internationally with similar interests. It's mission is to be a repository for health intelligence news, work, etc.

The health system, which is undergoing 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. 

In contrast, our health system has a limited and fragmented health intelligence (i.e. 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 improves 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 (
  • 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
  • Patrick Hipgrave, Intelligence Analyst, Massey University

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

If you would like to become a member of PHONZ, or be updated about future PHONZ events please enter your details here.

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