Centre for Research Evaluation and Social Assessment.

Our people

Dr Kay Saville-Smith

Dr Kay Saville-Smith.
Research Director

A sociologist, Kay has built up over twenty years of solid expertise in community and social policy research. Her research areas include applied social research and evaluation in housing, public policy and community development. Kay established CRESA in 1994 along with co-director Julie Warren who retired from the company in 2010.

Prior to establishing CRESA Kay was an academic, policy manager and ministerial adviser. She has extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative research design, evaluation, and policy analysis. Her research includes: housing markets, housing demand; retirement villages; accessible housing; sustainable housing; the residential building industry; neighbourhood built environments; benefit and funding policy for health, welfare, housing, disability and social services; and mental health services. In the past she was a member of the Healthy Housing Programme (Otago University), HEEP (BRANZ) and led the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Stream for the BEACON Consortium as well as contributed to the NowHome and retrofit evaluations. Kay is committed to and a successful provider of public good research. She has led a number of public good science funded programmes, including: Life When Renting: Enabling Older People's Independence in the Tenure Revolution; Finding the Best Fit: Housing, Downsizing, and Older People in a Changing Society; Community Resilience and Good Ageing: Doing Better in Bad Times; Ageing in Place: repairs and maintenance of older people's housing; and BBHTC SRA1: Improving the Architecture of Decisions Making.

In 2018 Kay was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for Services to Older People's Research and Housing Research. She is currently appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Group on Housing and Urban Development and is a trustee for the Marlborough Sustainable Housing Trust. Previously she has been a council member for the Lifetime Design Foundation Council, a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Warm Homes and a member of the Office for Senior Citizens' Independent Advisory Group Reviewing the Positive Ageing Strategy.

Ruth Fraser

Ruth Fraser.
Research Programmes Co-ordinator
Ruth is of Ngai Tahu descent. She has a double Honours degree in law and social policy and has been an indispensable part of the CRESA team since 1995. Ruth’s main interests are in the areas of the rental market, resource management, energy use, and community development. She has extensive experience in face-to-face interviews and focus groups with a range of people and in data management and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative information. She has undertaken database design, quality control and analysis of social science dtaa for a range of housing projects including the Household End-use Energy Project (HEEP and the National House Condition Surveys undertake with BRANZ. She has worked on a range of surveys with older people and agencies/organisations working with older people as part of the Life When Renting, Finding the Best Fit, Good Homes and Resilient Communities programmes. Ruth looks after our research contracts and our varied research subcontractors and collaborators.

Nina Saville-Smith

Nina Saville-Smith.
Having worked with CRESA over many years, Nina has considerable training and experience in face-to-face interviewing with a wide range of stakeholders. She has excellent qualitative and document analysis skills and assists with a variety of research tasks at CRESA, including support at focus groups, literature and file reviews, qualitative data analysis. Nina helps research and craft our submissions to government inquiries and policy reviews. She has completed studies in the treatment of animals.

Dr Elsie Ho

Nina Saville-Smith.
Research Associate
A former associate professor at the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland. Elsie is a leading expert in migration and Asian health studies in New Zealand, and has published internationally in numerous refereed journals and books. In 2007, she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to migrant communities. Her current research projects include migration and health trajectories, at-risk migrant families, care-giving in transnational families and health and wellbeing of older migrants.