Conference paper

The objective of this study is to analyse the travel patterns of New Zealand women regarding the location of the facility selected for birth. Previous studies have been conducted in New Zealand which investigated access to maternity facilities and maternity provider availability in rural areas (Beere & Brabyn 2006; Brabyn & Skelly 2002; Hendry 2009; Farry, Thompson, Robertson, Benwell & Williamson 2008). Hunter et al. (2011) has also examined why women choose their place of birth, however there has been no investigation into the place of birth related to maternal residence and preferences of the birthing mother at the census mesh block or physical address scale. Some international studies (Grzybowski et al. 2011; Pitchforth et al. 2009; Gjesfjeld & Jung 2011) have touched on these issues, but the New Zealand Maternity system is unique and our population is sparsely spread, so study is required acknowledging these factors. In 2012, a pilot study matching birthplace against residential area unit was conducted using spatial data from Statistics New Zealand, the results and limitations of which will be presented here. This pilot study has led to a Master of Midwifery thesis which will collate and analyse residential location and birth place co-ordinates from Southern District Health Board (SDHB) and private facility records in the context of mesh block-level census data and road networks. A survey of all birthing women will conducted alongside the geospatial analysis to look for reasons behind travel patterns.

Publication Details
Source title:
GIS and Remote Sensing Research Conference