Nevil Pierse

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. Robertson, O. Atatoa-Carr, P.
    Changes in area deprivation by moves for New Zealand children.
    Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health,
  2. Walker, G.J. Stelzer‐Braid, S. Honeywill, C. Wynn, M. Willenborg, C. Barnes, P. Kang, J. Rawlinson, W.D.
    Viruses associated with acute respiratory infection in a community‐based cohort of healthy New Zealand children.
    Journal of Medical Virology,
    Open access.
  3. Oliver, J. Foster, T. Williamson, D.A.
    Using preceding hospital admissions to identify children at risk of developing acute rheumatic fever.
    Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health,
    54(5), 499-505.
  4. (2017).
    Homelessness in New Zealand.
    The 12th European Research Conference on Homelessness,

    Proceedings of the 12th European Research Conference on Homelessness can be retrieved from

  5. Oliver, J. Foster, T. Kvalsvig, A. Williamson, D.A.
    Risk of rehospitalisation and death for vulnerable New Zealand children.
    BMJ, Archives of Disease in Childhood,
  6. (2017).
    Effects of minor household interventions to block draughts on social housing temperatures: a before and after study.
    Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online,
    12(2), 235-245
  7. Preval, N. Chapman, R. The Housing, Heating and Health Team.
    Evaluating Energy, Health and Carbon Co-benefits from Improved Domestic Space Heating: A Randomised Community Trial.
    Energy Policy,
    38(8), 3965-3972.
  8. Free, S. et al.
    Does more effective home heating reduce school absences for children with asthma?
    Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health,