Eva Neely

Lecturer in Health Promotion
School of Health

Teaching in 2020


BHlthSc, PGDipHlthSc (Hons), PhD Massey


Eva Neely is a Lecturer in Health Promotion in the School of Health. She teaches across the undergraduate and postgraduate health promotion qualifications. She has a particular interest in health promotion using strengths-based and empowerment-focused approaches to health and wellbeing particularly across childhood, adolescence and motherhood. She is passionate about context-driven, participatory and reflexive qualitative research. Her teaching and research pursue approaches that challenge the status quo, and advocate for social change and equity. She has strong links to communities and NGOs to promote practice relevant research, and sits on various governance groups and editorial boards.

Supervision Interests

Research within the broad field of health promotion with a particular focus on critical, participatory and qualitative methodologies, including:

  • Experiences and discourse of health promotion
  • Empowerment in health promotion
  • Health promoting settings
  • Health promotion advocacy and social change
  • Positive body image
  • Holistic health and health promotion
  • Maternal health
  • Social cohesion, connectedness and relationships
  • Breastfeeding
  • Childbirth

Research Interests

  • Maternal health, motherhood and mothering
  • Infant, child and youth health promotion
  • Childbirth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Empowerment
  • Health-promoting settings
  • Asset-based approaches for enhancing population health
  • Community-driven approaches to health
  • Social cohesion, connectedness and relationships
  • Health promotion advocacy and social change

Current Projects

  • Māmā Ora—Maternal Health Promotion in Aotearoa—a platform for advocacy, collaboration and research to improve maternal health in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Breastfeeding Journeys—Young mothers’ successful stories of breastfeeding (in collaboration with Dr Chrissy Severinsen, Massey University).
  • Promoting sustainable, intergenerational communities through community grandparenting (in collaboration with Dr Ágnes Szabó, Massey University).
  • Poverty and Maternity Care in Aotearoa (in collaboration with Maternity Equity Action and NZCOM).

Recently completed supervision and/or research projects

Current supervision

  • Exploring the role of online social support use on first time mothers’ experiences of identity transition and mood. Lisa Swale (Massey University, MSc).

Past supervision

  • Next Level Health: The design, implementation and evaluation of a programme to empower women over their health. Victoria Chinn, 2019, Massey University, PhD.
  • An exploration of how life events and the social environment affect food behaviours among New Zealand women. Jordan Crosbie, 2016, MPH.


Peer reviewed journal articles

Szabo, A., Neely, E. & Stephens, C. (2019). The psychosocial benefits of providing non-kin childcare in older adults: A longitudinal study with older New Zealanders. Journal of Health Psychology. doi: 10.1177/1359105319893011

Neely, E., Walton, M., & Stephens, C. (2016). Fostering relationships through food rituals in a New Zealand school. Health Education, 116(5), 434-448. doi: 10.1108/HE-03-2015-0012

Neely, E., Walton, M., & Stephens, C. (2016). Food practices and school connectedness: A whole-school approach. Health Education, 116(3), 320-340. doi: 10.1108/HE-11-2014-0095

Neely, E., Walton, M., & Stephens, C. (2015). Building school connectedness through shared lunches. Health Education, 115(6), 554-569. doi: 10.1108/HE-08-2014-0085

Neely, E., Walton, M., & Stephens, C. (2014). Young people's food practices and social relationships – a thematic synthesis. Appetite, 82, 50-60. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.07.005

Mengwasser, E., & Walton, M. (2013). ‘Show me what health means to you!’–Exploring children’s perspectives of health. Pastoral Care in Education, 31(1), 4-14. 10.1080/02643944.2012.731424

Walton, M., & Mengwasser, E. (2012). An ethical evaluation of evidence: A stewardship approach to public health policy. Public Health Ethics, 5(1), 16-21. 10.1093/phe/phr037

Peer reviewed book chapters

Walton, M., Tu'itahi, S., Stairmand, J., & Neely, E. (2015). Settings-based health promotion. In L. Signal, & M. Ratima (Eds.) Promoting Health in Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 241 - 263). Dunedin: Otago University Press.

Teaching in 2020