2021 Te Ngira Seminar Series

Rethinking residential segregation through an anti-racist lens

Presenter: Jessica Terruhn, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato/The University of Waikato

Tuesday 30th November,  1pm  to 2pm

via zoom

Presentation Abstract:

Segregation indices have long been a prominent indicator of the uneven spatial distribution of urban residents along, broadly, lines of ethnic affiliation and/or socio-economic status. While much effort has gone into developing sophisticated ways of measuring levels of segregation, the field has continued to build on assumptions first formulated in early 20th century US-based scholarship. Driven by expectations of immigrant integration and concerns about social problems arising from concentrations of poverty, segregation studies have predominately examined patterns of concentrations of ethnic minorities and socio-economically marginalised groups. Such approaches to knowledge production perpetuate deficit perspectives and, in conjunction with the disemination of such knowledge, make minoritised and marginalised populations amenable
to being monitored, managed and, at times, displaced while doing little to address the structural causes of
spatial stratification. This presentation examines alternatives for conceptualising segregation through an anti-racist lens, that is, in ways that disrupt orthodox perspectives and replace them with analyses of the structural causes of spatial inequities, as well as analyses of spatial concentrations of majorities and wealth and the reproductive relations between concentrations of wealth and poverty.


Jessica Terruhn is a Research Fellow at the National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA). After completing her PhD in Sociology at the University of Auckland, she worked as a Senior Research Officer on the CaDDANZ research programme at Massey University. Her research expertise lies at the intersections of urban studies and racism, migraion and settler colonialism. Her most recent research has focused on the formal and informal management of difference and the spatial reproduction of inequalities. She is also co-convener of the Aotearoa Migration Research Network (AMRN).

Re-thinking how we measure socioeconomic position in
the population aged ≥65 years

Dan Exeter, Michael Browne, Tommi Robinson-Chen, Ngaire Kerse, Arier Lee
School of Population Health, the University of Auckland

Presenter: Associate Professor Dan Exeter

Tuesday 22nd June, 2021


Any enquiries should be directed to
Shefali Pawar on 07 837 9198 or [email protected]

Presentation abstract:

In 2016, New Zealand’s population aged ≥65 represented 15% of the total population, and is projected to increase significantly over the n;ext 50 years. Indeed the official population projections suggest that the population aged ≥65 will comprise between 24% and 33% (median 28%) of the total population by 2068. By contrast and using the median population projections, the working age population (18-64 years) is expected to decline from 65% in 2016 to 56% by 2068, with similar declines among youth (0-14 years) from 20% to 15%.
In many studies of health inequalities among the population ≥65 years, researchers typically use conventional measures of socioeconomic position such as income, occupational class and/or educational attainment, or area-level deprivation indices, to represent the social circumstances of their population. However, there is growing consensus that these measures fail to represent the socioeconomic conditions experienced by older people.
We used the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) – a large research database containing microdata about people and households maintained by Statistics New Zealand – to capture socioeconomic indicators of relevance to those aged ≥65.   We identified more than 40 potential  person-specific indicators of SEP from >10 data sources  including the 2013 Census, the Ministry of Social Development, the NZ Transport Association and Inland Revenue, and various spatial data providers.  
Here, we describe how the indicators were grouped into domains, weighted and combined to create a deprivation score for individuals aged ≥65, (the Older Person’s Index of Multiple Deprivation [OPIMD]). We explore associations between the OPIMD and health outcomes, comparing these to the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), before outlining the policy implications of this new tool and opportunities for future research.


Associate Professor Dan Exeter is a health geographer/spatial epidemiologist based in the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on the identification of, and potential solutions to, health disparities due to socio-economic position, area disadvantage or ethnicity. His research employs the use of Geographical Information Science, big-data and the secondary analysis of large administrative datasets such as those within Statistics New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). He led the development of the New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and has published extensively on geographical disparities in health and society.

Determinants of ethnic identity among adolescents in Auckland
Presenter: Mohana Mondal, PHD Candidate, Research Officer

Tuesday 20th April


Presentation abstract:

Auckland is among the world’s most ethnically diverse cities. Like most large cities, its population is also youthful. In this paper, we focus on the dynamics of self-declared ethnic identities of adolescents in Auckland, using New Zealand Linked Census data for four inter-censal periods between 1991 and 2013. Our dataset links the same young person across consecutive Censuses (i.e., those aged 13-17 in one Census are aged 18-22 in the following Census five years later). We aim to capture the first conscious ethnic identity affiliation of adolescents, assuming that their ethnic identities are initially recorded by their parents, but subsequently determined by the adolescent themselves when they transition to adulthood. We classify our predictor variables into individual, family and neighbourhood-level variables. We find that an adolescent’s ethnicity stated at the previous census, parents’ ethnicity, and the ethnic makeup of the neighbourhood are all major determinants of ethnic-identity choices.


Mohana is currently working with the Waikato Medical Research Team, the University of Waikato, as a Research Officer (Health Economist). She works on exploring the costs of breast cancer in New Zealand. She is also a co-lecturer for the Epidemiology and Bio-statistics paper (BHealth), Division of Health, Engineering, Computing & Science, the University of Waikato.
Mohana has submitted her PhD (Population Economics) titled ‘Ethnic Mobility and the Spatial Distribution of Ethnicity in Auckland’ and is currently waiting for her oral examination. She works on spatial sorting, ethnic identity and ethnic mobility in Auckland, New Zealand. Her work also includes dynamic microsimulation modelling for future ethnic diversity projections at the local levels across the Auckland city.

2020 NIDEA Seminar Series

The spatial equity of GP services in the Waikato DHB: A mixed methods analysis

Dr. Jesse Whitehead

Tuesday 24th November


You tube link:

Presentation abstract

Equitable access to services is a guiding principle of the New Zealand Health Strategy. However, not all New Zealanders have ready access to primary health care. Adult residents ofthe Waikato region, and in particular Māori, have higher levels of unmet need for primay care than other New Zealand adults. This may influence health outcomes and exacerbate inequities as people with poor access to health care are less likely to use those services. Furthermore, although New Zealanders are generally living longer, there are also considerable differences in health outcomes between population subgroups, with non-Māori expected to live six to seven years longer than Māori or Pacific New Zealanders. The causes of these inequities include differences in access to the social determinants of health such as education, employment, and housing, as well as differences in access to health care and the quality of care received. The health system is also a social determinant of health that plays a role in creating, perpetuating, and exacerbating health inequities. Therefore, ensuring the spatial equity of health care is one important step in achieving health equity. Although the importance of distributing services according to need is widely recognised, in many health systems equitable access is not achieved, and in 1971 Julian Hart described the inverse care law whereby “the availability of good medical care tends to vary inversely with the need for it in the population served”.

In this seminar, Jesse Whitehead will present key findings from his PhD research into the spatial equity of GP services in the Waikato DHB region. This research is based on a mixed methods approach which combines a quantitatve geospatial analysis of service accessibility with a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with key informants representing patients, doctors, and health organisations in the Waikato region.


Jesse Whitehead is a health geographer at the University of Waikato. His research examines the accessibility, sustainability and spatial equity of health services. He is currently working on a collaboration with the University of Otago to develop a rural-urban geographic classification that is fit for health research and policy purposes.

Family economic and social wellbeing during and after the nationwide Alert Level 4 lockdown

Dr. Kate Prickett

Tuesday 20th October



video link:

Presentation abstract

On March 25th, Aotearoa NZ moved quickly into an Alert Level 4 lockdown, a state which severely restricted people’s movement and their social interactions in an attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown represented an unprecedented experience for New Zealanders in two important ways. First, it set in motion a sudden and large drop into economic recession. Second, people were asked to severely limit their movements, social interactions, and the ways they went about organising and providing for their households. These factors raised fears about the economic and social impact of lockdown.

In this seminar, Dr. Kate Prickett will present key findings about the impact of lockdown on family wellbeing, including the economic impact on families, time demands and work-family conflict, and the toll on relationships and wellbeing. These patterns will be examined with a lens trained on the differential impact by gender and socioeconomic status. Data came from the Life Under Lockdown Survey—a unique dataset consisting of 2,000 New Zealanders who were asked about their economic and socioemotional wellbeing during week 3 (April) of the Alert Level 4 lockdown and were followed-up with again in July when New Zealand had transitioned back to Alert Level 1.


Dr. Kate Prickett is the Director of the Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families and Children at Victoria University of Wellington. As a family demographer, Kate’s research is focused on how the the connection between family contexts and children’s health and wellbeing is implicated in the intergenerational transmission of inequality. A particular emphasis of this research is to understand how interpersonal processes between parents and children are embedded within a complex array of proximate ecological settings (such as work and child care) and broader systems of stratification (e.g., gender, socioeconomic status).

Contextualising trends in baby removals in Aotearoa New Zealand: international patterns, inequalities, policy trends and practice logics

Associate Professor Emily Keddell

Wednesday 29th July 


video link:

Presentation abstract

The number of babies removed at or soon after birth in Aotearoa New Zealand increased by 33% between 2015 and 2018, despite a reduction in all-age entries to fostercare. When the increase is broken down by ethnicity, it’s clear that it is almost exclusively comprised of Māori babies, while other ethnic groups remain stable. This pattern shows increasing inequities in the chances of child protection system contact for Māori, but there are intersecting inequalities particularly with socio-economic status and region that add nuance to this pattern. The data also suggest a growing authoritarianism in the nature of intervention. There are more legal orders used to enact removal, and more orders made during pregnancy rather than after birth, reflecting an increasingly adversarial approach based on notions of 'pre-emptive risk'. This talk discusses these trends with reference to international trends, inequalities concepts, policy discourse and practice logics. Similar trends are occurring in other nations, and with similar inequities. Dominant discourses of the 2015 policy reforms including social investment, being ‘child centred’ and early intervention heightened an individualized conceptualisation of babies at the expense of their parents or wider family and whānau contexts. Practice logics that rely heavily on recorded histories of systems contact, and pre-emptive risk, yet exclude social context, family and whanau capabilities, and disconfirming evidence contribute to heightened interventionism. These processes can lead to ‘thin’ assessment practices that create confirmation bias, particularly for Māori. At the same time, issues such as family poverty and inadequate support services can contribute to real risks for women and their families facing significant life challenges. Against the long backdrop of colonisation and the substantial social gradient in child protection system contact, grappling with these issues is imperative in order to reduce inequities going forward.


Emily Keddell is an Associate Professor in Social and Community Work at the University of Otago. Her research focusses on the child protection system, specifically inequalities in system contact, decision-making variability, knowledge interpretation in practice, the use of algorithmic decision tools, and policy analysis. She is currently engaged in a project examining what helps prevent babies being removed from their families of origin.

Hometown and whānau, or big city and millennials? The economic geography of graduate destination choices in New Zealand

Emeritus Professor Jacques Poot (joint work with Arthur Grimes, Shaan Badenhorst, David C. Maré and Isabelle Sin)

Tuesday 10 March 
K.G.09 (University of Waikato)

Presentation abstract

One of the main challenges facing non-metropolitan regions is the attraction and retention of highly-educated young people. A loss of the brightest can lead to reduced business creation, innovation, growth and community wellbeing in such regions. We use rich longitudinal microdata from New Zealand’s integrated administrative data infrastructure to analyse the determinants and geography of the choice of destination of tertiary educated (university and polytechnic) graduates. We address the question of post-student location choice in the context of the approach of Chen and Rosenthal (2008) who introduced a methodology for calculating ‘quality of life’ and ‘quality of business’ indicators for urban areas reflecting consumption and productive amenities respectively. Specifically, we test whether students – of different characteristics (e.g. institutional type and field of study) – locate in places that are regarded as good to live or good to do business. Our estimates are conditional on students’ prior school (home) location and the location of their higher education institution. We find that graduates are attracted to locate in places that have high quality production amenities. High quality consumption amenities have heterogeneous effects on the location choice of students. Creative Arts and Commerce graduates are relatively more likely to locate in places that are attractive to business, consistent with a symbiosis between bohemians and business. Places can leverage their existing (productive or consumption amenity) strengths to act as drawcards to recent graduates. The results are important for local decision-makers who wish to know which factors can attract and retain young qualified people.


Jacques Poot

Jacques Poot is an Emeritus Professor at NIDEA and an Honorary Professor in the School of Accounting, Finance and Economics at the University of Waikato. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Spatial Economics at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. His university education was at VU (Doctorandus, econometrics, 1978) and at Victoria University of Wellington (PhD, labour economics, 1984). He was previously a Foreign Professor at the University of Tsukuba in Japan (1994-97 and 2002), employed in various academic positions at Victoria University of Wellington between 1979 and 2003, and Professor of Population Economics at NIDEA, 2004-2017. Jacques is a Fellow of several professional organisations, including Academia Europaea, Regional Science Association International and IZA – Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn. He is also an Affiliate of Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington. Jacques was the 2013 recipient of the NZIER Economics Award, which recognises sustained research excellence in work that makes a significant contribution to informing public policy in New Zealand.

View this seminar online