Key findings from EHI Surveillance

Issues with data provided to EHINZ: 

  1. Water quality: Roughly 900,000 people get their water from an unregistered, unmonitored supply, so water quality is unknown.  As a result, data surrounding health outcomes related to these topics is not available.
  2. Alcohol-related crash indicators: Were not updated due to ongoing developments in the coding of the involvement of alcohol in crashes.
  3. National poisons Centre: Of the thousands of calls made to the NPC each year, records lacked detail or basic information in many instances. 


Climate Change 

Indoor Environment 

Water quality 


Key finding 

Northern & Eastern parts of New Zealand are currently more affected by hot & dry days. Western regions of the South Island are more affected by extreme rainfall days. 

SUDI, asthma prevalence and second-hand smoke exposure in the home all present major inequities throughout New Zealand. 

Only parts of the population definitely have access to safe (64.6%), or fluoridated (50.5%) drinking water. Faecal bacteria is also common in freshwater (54.8%) and marine (9.4%) bathing sites. 



Inequities (age, deprivation & ethnicity) 


Deprivation: More deprived regions include Northland, Gisborne, and parts of Auckland and BOP.  Those in deprived areas are more susceptible to climate change as they have less capacity to cope and fewer resources for protection.  


Māori: can be more sensitive to climate change as their economy is more reliant on primary industries which are influenced by tempurature and rainfall fluctuations. Māori populations are concentrated in upper and central North Island. 

Second-hand smoke: 29,000 children, were exposed to second-hand smoke in the home in 2015/16. Exposure was 18.1 times higher in the most deprived populations, and 2.8 times higher among Māori children. 


SUDI: The most deprived infants were 15.0 times more likely to die of SUDI. 


Medicated asthma prevalence: More common among Māori (16.6%) and Pacific (16.4%) children.  

Children: In 2019, 58.8% of five-year-olds seen by community oral health services had no history of dental carries and averaged 1.9 decayed, missing or filled teeth. 


Rurality: Rural populations are less likely to have access to registered, monitored water sources and are therefore more vulnerable to waterborne diseases and exposure to wastewater contamination.


Positive changes over time: 

  1. Melanoma deaths: From 2015–2018 melanoma deaths decreased by 22%. This decrease coincides with the funding of new advanced melanoma treatments (Opdivo and Keytruda) by Pharmac in mid-2016.
  2. Second-hand smoke: Children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home decreased from 9.6% in 2006/07 to 3.2% in 2015/16.
  3. Lead absorption: Lead absorption notifications (occupational, non-occupational and unknown) decreased by roughly 50% from 2014–2020.
  4. Maternal smoking: Maternal smoking rates continue to decline. Rates for Māori mothers declined from 32.3% in 2009 to 23% in 2020.
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