OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council

Healthy Climate, Healthy People

We are health professionals calling for urgent and fair climate action 
for real health gains - now, and for our future.

 

 

Click here for the Health Professionals Joint Call for Action on Climate Change and Health

 

Newstream

Submission on the Fast-track Approvals Bill 2024

Robust legislation governing land use and environmental pollution is vital for safeguarding people’s lives and their health. It is essential that changes to the existing legislation are an improvement on the status quo, rather than the dangerous and retrograde step in environmental governance for public health that the Fast-track Approvals Bill represents. The proposed Bill risks increasing public health disasters by bypassing meaningful environmental health safeguards, allowing Ministers to approve projects without considering the serious risks to people's safety, health, or to their fundamental human rights. We strongly recommend this Bill is rejected in its entirety.

OraTaiao's full submission to the Environment Select Committee, prepared by Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright, is available here.

Health Professionals prescribe a dose of healthy activity – the School Strike 4 Climate

MEDIA RELEASE, 3 April 2024

OraTaiao calls on all of Aotearoa to get active and take a stand for health this Friday, by joining the School Strike for Climate Strike to be held in at least 20 locations around the country.

Submission on the revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024)

The revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024) is a throwback to a mid-20th century mentality in which the car is king and other modes are neglected to the point of death. It represents an absolute failure from the government to protect New Zealander’s futures. In short, from a health, equity and climate perspective, it is an utter disaster which represents an assault on the health and wellbeing of the people of New Zealand. 

OraTaiao's full submission to Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport), prepared by Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here.

Submissions

Submission on the Fast-track Approvals Bill 2024

Robust legislation governing land use and environmental pollution is vital for safeguarding people’s lives and their health. It is essential that changes to the existing legislation are an improvement on the status quo, rather than the dangerous and retrograde step in environmental governance for public health that the Fast-track Approvals Bill represents. The proposed Bill risks increasing public health disasters by bypassing meaningful environmental health safeguards, allowing Ministers to approve projects without considering the serious risks to people's safety, health, or to their fundamental human rights. We strongly recommend this Bill is rejected in its entirety.

OraTaiao's full submission to the Environment Select Committee, prepared by Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright, is available here.

Submission on the revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024)

The revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024) is a throwback to a mid-20th century mentality in which the car is king and other modes are neglected to the point of death. It represents an absolute failure from the government to protect New Zealander’s futures. In short, from a health, equity and climate perspective, it is an utter disaster which represents an assault on the health and wellbeing of the people of New Zealand. 

OraTaiao's full submission to Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport), prepared by Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here.

Letter to the Mayor of Auckland on safer pedestrian crossings

Uncertainty about the future of safe and healthy transport options in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has increased since the election. Opportunities for formal submissions have been restricted, as consultation on transport funding and priorities has been replaced by edicts from agencies and politicians such Waka Kotahi, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown.

Regarding work to create safer pedestrian crossings in the city, negative comments from both the Transport Minister and the Mayor have cited an article in the NZ Herald which contained inaccuracies and was later corrected

In the absence of a consultation request, OraTaiao has taken the step of writing to the Mayor to provide accurate information about raised pedestrian crossings. Our letter from Co-convenors Dr Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright is available here

Submission on the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024)

New Zealand's current commitment to cut gross domestic emissions is a mere fraction of what’s needed from us, pressure to cut all gases much faster is highly likely, and New Zealand simply can’t afford to shield any sector from reality. The easiest path for the transport sector is for GPS2024 to rapidly eliminate climate pollution and ensure the infrastructure needed for net zero much closer to 2030 than 2050, with negative emissions soon after. 

‘Rapidly reducing emissions’ must be the top strategic priority in GPS2024. The second strategic priority is ensuring ‘resilience’. The third strategic priority is ‘health and safety’, as the transport sector has a big influence on the health of New Zealanders. 

The other three priorities must be considered in the context of increasingly constrained capacity to emit, while ensuring Tiriti o Waitangi, justice, inclusive and equitable access are cross-cutting themes across all six strategic priorities. 

‘Rapidly reducing emissions’ which OraTaiao expects must be the top strategic priority in GPS2024, means a major shift in funding across activity classes and years, to frontload investment in public transport, cycling and walking activity classes. This is the chance to accelerate the necessary shift from predominantly privately owned vehicle transport, to shared transport, walking and cycling.

OraTaiao's full submission to Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport), prepared by Liz Springford, Dr Scott Metcalfe, Dr James Hamill and Summer Wright, is available here

Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash

 

Publications

Designing a healthy response to climate change

Article by Dr Dermot Coffey. NZMJ Digest Issue 99. Read here (PDF).

Nurses are crucial in the fight against climate change

Viewpoint by Michael Brenndorfer. Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, Vol 26, No 9, October 2020. Read here (PDF).

New Zealand asthma guidelines support use of environmentally friendly inhalers

Article by Dr Dermot Coffey. New Zealand Doctor, 7 October 2020. Read here

Scorecard for NZ Election 2020 - Climate Change and Health

Scorecard and report by OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council rating political parties' policies on climate change and health for NZ General Election 2020. See here (PDF).

Our Work

OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council works to highlight in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally:

We also do work to inform NZ's contribution to international climate action; highlight the climate and wider...

Get involved with OraTaiao

OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council is a not-for-profit incorporated society that receives no external funding.

Activity largely depends on volunteer time, and membership donations to allow employment of a part-time coordinator. 

There are many ways you can support our work including: donations, volunteering, and spreading the climate-health message amongst work-mates, friends, whānau and your community.

You can also consider offsetting your unavoidable carbon emissions.

Become a member here

 

Contact Us

For general Information:
[email protected]

Co-convenors: 
Dr Dermot Coffey
[email protected] 

Summer Wright
[email protected]

OraTaiao Co-convenor Summer Wright

 

 

Media requests welcome.