Waikato and the central North Island are a world-renowned centre for primary production – particularly for pastoral farming, forestry and fishing. It is a geographically large region which is not densely populated, with 60% of its population living rurally. The health needs and health care provision of rural populations is therefore an important area of research for our health partners.

The Medical Research Centre has established links with the Waikato District Health Board, NZ Rural General Practice Network, University of Otago (Dunedin) School of Medicine, and the Rural Academic Research Group.

Key project: A rural-urban classification for NZ health research and policy

This project aims to produce a ‘fit for health purpose’ rural-urban classification for the analysis of health data at both national and local levels. The idea is to use this classification system with key national data collections to determine the magnitude of urban-rural health disparities that have been obscured by inappropriate methodology.

Project partners

This project is led by the University of Otago and funded by the Health Research Council.

Recent publications