More success for the health geography and deprivation team

The School of Population Health's health geography and deprivation team is celebrating the significance of their research with two recent national award recognitions.

Dr Daniel Exeter receives a prize at the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards.

The researchers behind a map charting social inequalities within New Zealand have been recognised for innovation and excellence at this year’s New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards.

The NZ Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is a set of tools  developed to identify concentrations of deprivation in New Zealand.  Led by Associate Professor Daniel Exeter, the IMD considers a range of factors including employment, income, crime, housing, health, education and access to calculate a deprivation score for the  geographical data zones across the country. Each data zone contains an average population of 712 people and is designed to provide accurate information about smaller areas, without compromising the confidentiality of its inhabitants. The IMD uses routinely collected data from government departments, census data, and methods comparable to international deprivation indices to measure different forms of disadvantage.

The team behind the IMD... believe that the judges liked the IMD’s ability
to help people better understand communities.  

The team behind the IMD, which includes Drs Jinfeng Zhao, Sue Crengle, Arier Lee and Michael Browne, believe that the judges liked the IMD’s ability to help people better understand communities. Government departments, District Councils, schools and iwi health trusts are just some of the entities who have put the IMD to use, using its findings to inform research, policies and practices that reduce inequalities in society.

As winners of the NZ Spatial Excellence Awards in the People and Community theme, the IMD team are now entrants in the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards, to be held in Melbourne, next April.

This follows on from the success of Daniel Surkalim (supervised by Associate Professor Daniel Exeter and Professor Alistair Woodward), who received the 2018 New Zealand ESRI Young Scholar Award for his Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) dissertation. His research looked at the variability in life expectancy of the Auckland population, based on both socioeconomic deprivation and how close individuals lived to major public transport hubs.

Daniel Surkalim is the first student from the University of Auckland to win the ESRI young scholar award. Daniel attended the Global Esri User Conference and Education Summit in San Diego, where he was awarded his trophy and met with over 25 other award recipients to compare projects and further develop their geospatial skills.