Professor Nevil Pierse is co-leader of He Kāinga Oranga - Housing and Health Research Programme. Originally a statistician by training, his current work is done in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders including government and community organisations and is focused on the design and implementation of natural experiments to improve the home and community environments. Nevil and the research team was awarded a Prime Minister's Science Prize in 2014 for this work.

He is currently working on the Healthy Housing Initiative, which looks at home interventions to prevent rehospitalisation of children with housing-related disease. This programme has accessed and remediated over 30,000 homes in New Zealand and resulted in a decrease of nearly 10,000 hospital admissions. The Healthy Housing Initiative was awarded the Prime Minister's Spirit of Service Award in 2019.

Nevil also leads a programme looking at optimising the housing system, especially for those without housing. He works closely with a leading exemplar of this approach, The People's Project in Hamilton. Nevil has a keen interest in big data and leads five housing and health projects on the integrated data infrastructure. In 2021 this research group was awarded the Rutherford Medal for the quality and impact of their work.


Key publications

  1. He Kāinga Oranga: reflections on 25 years of measuring the improved health, wellbeing and sustainability of healthier housing.
    Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand,
  2. Chun, S. Johnson, E. McMinn, C.
    Post-housing first outcomes amongst a cohort of formerly homeless youth in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand,
  3. Robertson, O. Atatoa Carr, P.
    Residential mobility for a national cohort of New Zealand- born children by area socioeconomic deprivation level and ethnic group.
    BMJ Open
  4. Robertson, O. Atatoa Carr, P.
    Residential mobility and socioemotional and behavioural difficulties in a preschool population cohort of New Zealand children.
    BMJ of Epidemiology and Community Health
  5. White, M.
    Healthy homes initiative: Initial analysis of health outcomes.
    Motu Note #37, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, Wellington, New Zealand
  6. Kristono, G.A. Shorter, C. Siebers, R.
    Endotoxin, cat, and house dust mite allergens in electrostatic cloths and bedroom dust.
    J Occup Environ Hyg.
  7. Lessons learned from implementing a programme of home modifications to prevent falls amongst the general population.
  8. Examining the role of tenure, household crowding and housing affordability on psychological distress using longitudinal data.
    Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
    70, 10