Setting the stage: Reviewing current knowledge on the health of New Zealand immigrants-an integrative review

Blessing Kanengoni, Sari Andajani-Sutjahjo, Eleanor Holroyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of migrant communities continues to rise globally, creating unique and complex health challenges. Literature on immigrant health in New Zealand (NZ) remains scant. This integrative literature review was conducted drawing on peerreviewed research articles on immigrant health in NZ published between 2012 and 2018. The objectives were to: (i) provide a critical overview of immigrant health in NZ; (ii) identify general trends in health research conducted in NZ on immigrants; (iii) compare, contrast, and evaluate the quality of the information; (iv) develop a summary of research results and; (v) identify priorities and recommendations for future research. A search yielded more than 130 articles with 28 articles constituting the foundation of the review. This review is timely following the rapid increase in the scale, speed, and spread of immigration and its potential for changing NZ's national health patterns and priorities. This integrative review led to the four primary conclusions. Firstly, migration in NZ is a gendered phenomenon, as there has been more women and girls arriving as migrants in NZ and being at risk of poor health in comparison with their male counterparts. Secondly, studies on infectious diseases take precedence over other health problems. Thirdly, research methodologies used to collect data may not be relevant to the cultural and traditional customs of the migrant populations. Furthermore, a number of research findings implemented have failed to meet the needs of NZ migrants. Lastly, policy initiatives are inclined more towards supporting health practitioners and lack a migrant centred approach. What is already known about this topic? Despite NZ becoming more ethnically and linguistically diverse, there is limited literature on the health of migrants living in NZ. What this paper adds? This integrative literature review provides a critical overview of refugee and migrant health in NZ through reviewing and critiquing the current literature available. This paper identifies research trends, the general health of migrants in NZ, recommendations that could inform future migrant and refugee health research and health policies and initiatives to ensure effective and relevant health service provision to migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5184
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Health policy
  • Healthcare
  • Immigrant
  • Migrant, Health
  • New Zealand
  • Refugee


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