Nevil Pierse

Professor Nevil Pierse is co-director of He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme. Originally a statistician by training, his current work is done in partnership with a wide variety of stakeholders including government and community organisations, and is focused on the design and implementation of randomised trials and natural experiments to improve the home and community environments. His previous studies have shown the benefits of efficient home heating and insulation, which was instrumental in the $300 Million EECA, Warm Up New Zealand, Heat Smart programme. Nevil’s other previous work includes the HRC funded Home Injury Prevention Intervention, which showed that simple home repairs and modification reduced the number of falls in homes by 27%. He was part of the group awarded the 2014 NZ Prime Ministers prize for Science. He is currently working on the Healthy Housing Initiative with which looks at home interventions to prevent rehospitalisation of children with respiratory disease. This programme has accessed and remediated 15,530 homes in New Zealand, and resulted in a decrease in hospital admission and GP visits.  In 2019 it was won the prime ministers prize for best public service programme.  Nevil current leads the ‘Ending Homelessness in New Zealand: Housing First’ MBIE funded research programme and a HRC funded programme looking at the health and well-being gains from improving housing quality. Nevil has a keen interest in big and leads 5 Housing and Health projects on the integrated data infrastructure.

Nevil is an experienced supervisor of PhD and Masters students, an interested in new student with a focus housing or homelessness.

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,