Two female recruiters walk down a street

Population-based eye health survey

Improving knowledge and understanding of eye health in Aotearoa

Why a survey?

Aotearoa New Zealand has never undertaken a population-based eye health survey and so currently has insufficient information on which to plan and deliver equitable eye care services.

When eye health services are not accessible, people may experience avoidable or treatable vision loss, and miss out on opportunities to participate fully with whānau or in everyday activities such as driving, working and learning.

By undertaking population-based studies, we are able to understand where services may not be accessible to people.

A snapshot of unmet need

In July 2021, we began a pilot eye health study in the Glen Innes, Panmure and Ōrākei areas of Auckland.

We wanted to get a snapshot of eye health needs among three population groups living in this area: Māori and Pacific people aged 40 years+, and other New Zealanders aged 50+ years

Understanding participation

We also wanted to understand how a population-based survey might work in Aotearoa. Recruiting people door-to-door, we are particularly keen to learn the most effective ways to reach and recruit typically under-served communities, including Māori and Pacific peoples.

The pilot helps us to understand barriers people may experience to participating, and to test different strategies to encourage participation among different groups.

It also provides an opportunity to explore partnerships to support effective implementation of the survey across Aotearoa. 


NZ Optics:

Door-knock study uncovers unmet need

Auckland University researchers have conducted a pilot eye health survey and community eye exams in east-central Auckland, uncovering significant unmet need and serious eye disorders, including retinal tears and severe cataracts. Read more…

Our survey: A closer look

Each day we set up the eye clinic at Te Whare Piringa community centre in Glen Innes.

As part of the survey, we offer a full eye examination at a local pop-up eye clinic to all people identified with distance or near vision impairment.

A female optometrist
A female optometrist
A female eye health survey participant in discussion with a female optometrist
A female eye health survey participant examined at a slit lamp by a female optometrist

Who are we working with?

Our Co-investigators

Dr Arier Lee
School of Population Health,
University of Auckland

Associate Professor Matire Harwood
School of Population Health,
University of Auckland

Dr Corina Grey
Honorary Academic,
University of Auckland

Tarati Blair-Hunt
Health Programme Designer,
Auckland District Health Board

Thanks to our supporters


The Community Eye Health research team would like to acknowledge The University of Auckland and the Buchanan Charitable Foundation for their support of the pilot study.

We would also like to thank Peter and Rae Fehl, Blind Low Vision New Zealand and New Zealand Association of Optometrists for funding eye tests for eligible participants.

To ensure all participants with vision impairment are able to access glasses, we are using the SOVS Community Spectacle Scheme, which is supported by Helen Blake, Barbara Blake and Essilor.

Our team

Dr Jacqueline Ramke
Associate Professor Jacqueline Ramke

Principal Investigator

Dr Joanna Black
Dr Joanna Black

Senior Lecturer

Jaymie Rogers

Professional Teaching Fellow and Doctoral candidate

Dr Rajneeta Saraf

Research Fellow

Telusila Vea
Telusila Vea

Community Coordinator