Michael is a public health physician and professor at the University of Otago, Wellington. He is a Co-Director of He Kāinga Oranga - Housing and Health Research Programme, and Principal Investigator for the Social Housing Outcomes Worth (SHOW) study which is tracking the health of social housing tenants in New Zealand. He is also involved with the Centre for Sustainable Cities at the University of Otago, Wellington.
Michael's research interests include the health effects of household crowding; home injuries; homelessness; seasonality of disease; climate change; pandemic influenza and how it can be contained; infectious disease epidemiology, and emerging infectious diseases. His work since 2020 has been dominated by assisting with the Covid-19 pandemic response as a member of the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Group, and he was a leading architect and advocate for the Covid-19 elimination strategy.
Michael’s work in public health, and for the Covid-19 response in particular, was recognised by awards including: the Health Research Council’s Liley Medal in 2013; the Critic and Conscience of Society Award (from Universities NZ); the Public Health Champion award (from the Public Health Association of NZ); Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM); 2020 Wellingtonian of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize in 2021.
- Preval, N. Rivera-Muñoz, G. Davies, C. Oliver, J.(2017).Housing, energy and health in resilient cities.Cities in New Zealand: Preferences, patterns and possibilities,Howden-Chapman, L. Early & J. Ombler (Eds.), (pp. 95-106). Wellington, New Zealand: Steele Roberts Aotearoa.
- Jacobs, D.E. Ormandy, D. Cutler-Welsh, M. Preval N.(2017).Measuring the Effect of Housing Quality Interventions: The Case of the New Zealand “Rental Warrant of Fitness”.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,2017, 4.
- (2010).Close-contact infectious diseases in New Zealand: Trends and ethnic inequalities in hospitalisations,1989 to 2008 - 2nd EditionHe Kāinga Oranga/Housing & Health Research Programme University of Otago, Wellington.
Our key researchers: -->
- Nicholls, S. Cunningham, M. Phipps, R. Boulic, M. Fjallstrom, P. Free, S. Chapman, R. ... ...(2008).Effects of improved home heating on asthma in community dwelling children: randomised community study.
- Matheson, A. Cunningham, M. Blakely, T. Woodward, A. O’Dea, D. Kennedy, M. Waipara, N. Chapman, R. Davie, G.(2007).Effect of insulating existing houses on health inequality: cluster randomised study in the community.
- (2006).Housing, Crowding and Health Study: Characteristics of Cohort Members and their Hospitalisations – February 2003 to June 2005.He Kāinga Oranga / Housing & Health Research Programme Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences.
- Matheson, A. Cunningham, M. Blakely, T. O’Dea, D. Woodward, A. Saville-Smith, A. Waipara, N.(2005).Retrofitting houses with insulation to reduce health inequalities: Aims and methods of a clustered, randomised community-based trialSocial Science and Medicine,61(12, 2600-2610.