We have started a monthly webinar series, to take place the second Wednesday of each month, 12–1PM. Details for registration will be posted here each month, as well as on the Facebook group, and you can specifically opt in to our mailing list by emailing vhin@otago.ac.nz. After you register, you will then be sent a Zoom link, as well as an automatic email reminder a day before, and an hour before, the event starts. The list below will grow as the series progresses, with links to download recordings of these sessions.

Join us at: https://tinyurl.com/VHIN-webinars

Webinar #4: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Penny Mok, Social Wellbeing Agency
Vulnerability and multiple disadvantage among older people in New Zealand

This study measures the needs of older people in multiple life domains using the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). We estimate and characterise the needs in health, housing, finance, social connection, and accessibility.

54% of older people are healthy, have liveable housing, are financially secure, and have good social connections and access based on our measures. However, at least 33% experience vulnerability and 13% experience multiple disadvantage i.e. vulnerability across two or more domains. In this latter case, we find a complex spectrum of need, including groups of older people experiencing multiple mental health conditions paired with compounding housing and financial vulnerability.

We find considerable differences in experiences of vulnerability and multiple disadvantage based on age, sex, and ethnicity. Older Pacific peoples not only experience the highest proportion of multiple disadvantage across ethnicities, but also the highest proportion of housing vulnerability, irrespective of housing tenure type. Asian and MELAA (Middle Eastern, Latin American, and African) older people experience the highest proportions of financial vulnerability, and Māori older people experience the highest proportion of health vulnerability.

Penny Mok is a Principal Data Scientist at the Social Wellbeing Agency. She has extensive research experience in the NZ government, including roles at the Productivity Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, and Treasury. Penny has led and contributed to a wide range of projects across government agencies, collaborating with diverse teams to extract insights from complex data sets, identify patterns, and develop innovative solutions. She has a keen eye for identifying meaningful correlations and extracting actionable intelligence from large data sets, mainly the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). Her work has encompassed areas such as predictive analytics and microsimulation, among others.

Penny’s educational background includes a strong foundation in Economics, in which she earned a PhD with a focus on poverty and development economics. Before coming to NZ, Penny worked as an Economics lecturer at a private university in Malaysia.

Webinar #3: Wednesday 8 November 2023

Gabrielle Davie, University of Otago
Classifying and understanding the impact of rurality on the health of New Zealanders

The development of a ‘fit-for-purpose’ rural-urban classification for NZ health research and policy provides an opportunity to beter understand the impact of rurality on health outcomes and health care delivery.

This presentation will briefly describe the development and validation of the Geographic Classification for Health (GCH), as well as recent research findings including the intersection of rurality, ethnicity and socio-economic deprivation and the impact of living rurally on Māori mortality. Research currently underway, using a range of administrative datasets and study designs, within & outside the IDI, will be described. For future users, the presentation will also cover how to access and implement the GCH.

Gabrielle Davie is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago. The use and methodological development of routinely collected datasets for health research is a keen interest of hers. She has considerable expertise using linked ‘big data’ including hospital discharge data, the Mortality Collection, injury compensation claims, coronial case files and emergency medical services patient forms for research purposes.

She has also led projects that use Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI), a powerful large research database comprising of microdata from government agencies, Stats NZ surveys and NGOs. Her knowledge of using NZ’s administrative datasets for research underpins her role as quantitative lead on several rural health research projects being led by Professor Garry Nixon.

Gabrielle also mentioned Garry Nixon’s upcoming Inaugural Public Lecture, which will be available through the YouTube playlist at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbdf314ODCIYNwPh-VCpDGUHj2aaesXm3 when it is uploaded.

Webinar #2: Wednesday 11 October 2023

Andrew Webber, Social Wellbeing Agency
Alternative Education, Teen Parent Units, and Examining Impact in the IDI

This presentation summarises two recent projects focused on Alternative Education and Teen Parent Units, two school-based support programmes. The findings have implications for how the broader social sector can better support the needs of participating young people and their families. The methods also have potential applications for how the IDI can be efficiently used to provide insight into the impacts of programmes and policies.

Andrew Webber is the Chief Economist of the Social Wellbeing Agency. He works to provide a link between evidence and policy across the social sector. Prior to working at SWA, Andrew was the Chief Economist at the Ministry of Education. His research interests include the wellbeing of children and young people, the economics of education, and the enduring effects of COVID-19.

Webinar #1: Wednesday 13 September 2023

Thomas Schober, New Zealand Work Research Institute, AUT
Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood vaccine uptake with integrated administrative data

This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood vaccination coverage in New Zealand, using population-wide administrative data.

For each immunisation event from 6 weeks to 4 years, we compare children who became eligible for immunisation during the pandemic to earlier-born cohorts. We find for our affected cohorts that the initial phase of the pandemic had, on average, small or no effects on timely immunisation at the four infancy events, but a large effect at the 4-year event of -15 percentage points. Nine months after eligibility, catchup for the affected cohort was largely achieved for the infancy immunisations, but 4-year coverage remained 6 percentage points below pre-pandemic levels. Uptake initially dropped most among children of European ethnicity and of high-earning parents but catchup quickly surpassed their Māori, Pacific, and lower-earning counterparts for whom sizeable gaps in coverage below pre-pandemic levels remained at the end of our observation period. The pandemic thus widened pre-existing inequalities in immunisation coverage.

Thomas Schober is a Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Work Research Institute. His research interests include health, family, and labour economics. He has extensive experience in working with administrative data and applying quantitative econometric methods. Before joining AUT, Thomas worked for the Department of Economics at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria.