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

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 Opportunities for formal submissions have been restricted, as consultation on transport funding and priorities has been replaced by edicts from agencies and politicians such Waka Kotahi, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown.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

OraTaiao supports humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

OraTaiao has added its name to a joint letter to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Manatū Aorere Ministry of Foreign Affairs urging them to support the UN General Assembly resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The full text of the resolution, moved by Egypt and co-sponsored by 20 other countries, is available here.

Rob Campbell: Guest speaker at the 2023 OraTaiao AGM

Rob Campbell needs little introduction. He has over 40 years of experience in board governance in private, public and social organisations. The last government made him a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance then sacked him from his roles as Chair of Te Whatu Ora and Environmental Protection Authority. Rob continues to think that health and the environment are linked and badly governed. We were delighted to have him as our guest speaker to open the 2023 OraTaiao AGM, and to stay for a lengthy Q&A.

Submissions

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

 

"Price agricultural climate pollution fast, well, and right now" – Submission to the Ministry for the Environment

The Government proposes the deferral of farm-level agricultural emissions reporting and pricing by two years, from 1 January 2024 to 1 January 2026.

OraTaiao is strongly opposed. 

We understand that the challenge posed by the climate crisis is to slow, then stop, then remove the flow of dangerous gases thickening the blanket of climate pollution overheating our world. Just like the human body, our planet has a very limited average temperature range where climate conditions are stable and we humans can thrive. Every tenth of a degree of overheating increases risks of tipping points and irrevocable harm.

As New Zealanders can already see from Cyclone Gabrielle and the Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland floods, we cannot afford a destabilising global climate. What's more, current Government commitments to cut gross domestic emissions are 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 continue subsidising and shielding the agriculture sector from reality either.

Pricing the mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emitted by the sector is essential to drive the deep cuts in our gross emissions that are needed to meet our domestic and international obligations.

We therefore strongly urge that basic farm-level agricultural emissions reporting starts from 1 January 2024 as per the Climate Change Response Act backstop provision - albeit with a small legislative change to use the definition by He Waka Eke Noa - Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership (26,000 farms covering 96% of agricultural emissions). 

Our full submission to the Ministry for the Environment Manatū Mō Te Taiao, produced by Liz Springford and Dr Scott Metcalfe based on OraTaiao’s 2030 vision for Aotearoa’s transformed food sector and lands, is available here

"Either radically transform the NZ ETS, or dismantle it" – Submission to the Ministry for the Environment

OraTaiao has called on the Government to either radically transform NZ’s Emissions Trading Scheme, or end it. See our submission to the Government’s review.

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.