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Otago University Veteran Research

  • The ‘Health and Wellbeing of Current and Former Service Personnel’

This survey, the first to include all service personnel is from the ‘veterans health’ group at Otago, Massey and Auckland University of Technology. It is going out to all NZDF personnel who have been on operational service: we need you to reply, even if you are younger and feel OK, so please have a go at the survey, pass it on and encourage your mates. The idea has come from us, funded by Lottery Health, the War Pensions Medical Research Trust Fund and the RNZRSA, with support from NoDuff. The NZDF are also supporting it, but will not have access to the data. Everyone who completes the survey will enter a prize draw for a New Zealand ‘weekend break for two’ if that helps!


To go to the survey, or read more, click here.


We are determined that the results will make a difference. Most service personnel are doing OK health wise and socially, but there is growing evidence that some are not: they are in social strife or developing health problems, or both. The events that trigger these problems may have occurred way in the past, but we need to be ready to recognise these problems now. We want to look at post-traumatic stress injury, but also complaints called ‘multi symptom illness’, MSI, first recognised after the Gulf War. The plan is to recognise ‘at risk’ individuals as soon as possible through ‘early warning’ signs that all is not as it should be health-wise or socially. These warning signs or patterns of ill health need to be recognised in the community by GPs and through social support networks. Most of all, we need to make sure that community support is in place and, yes, resourced. All part of the plan, and it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.  So look upon the survey as a chance to have your voice heard.

We promise to raise the profile of NZ service personnel health.

Participation is completely voluntary and you may withdraw from the study at any time without any risk or disadvantage to you. You are under no obligation to answer all questions presented in it. You may skip any questions that you do not want to answer. All information will be kept confidential, and no material that could identify you will be used in any report on this study.

Please note that the survey is unclassified, and that all information and any comments are at the unclassified level. This survey is being conducted in compliance with DFO 3.14[5] Authority to Conduct Personnel Research.

If you would like more information, please contact Dave McBride on either 03 479 7208,  txt 027 253 5451 or email Dave is a LtCol in the RNZAMC and a reservist, but is carrying out this project in his University capacity.

Other team members: Associate Professor Brian Cox, Dr Emma Wyeth, Associate Professor Sarah Derrett, Dr Gagan Gurung, Dr Amy Richardson, Dr Dianne Gardner,  Dr Daniel Shepherd and Mr Brandon de Graaf.

The study has received ethical approval from the Northern B Health and Disability Ethics Committee.