OraTaiao submission, 21 June 2020
We oppose the side-stepping of the participatory processes of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The basic purpose of sustainable development in the RMA is not reflected in the Bill, and nor is the major principle of community participation in resource management decisions.
For public health, health equity and hauora Māori expertise, this process is particularly important. Despite people’s health and wellbeing being part of the definition of sustainable development in the RMA, there is no formal inclusion of health impacts in the resource consent process (except sometimes as part of Environmental Impact Assessment). This leaves health expertise to make submissions as a member of the public during the notification and consenting process.
Read full submission here.
Webinar series: Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Aotearoa - A green, equitable and resilient post-COVID pathway for health and healthcare
We are delighted to announce this webinar series, focused on sustainable healthcare and climate health. Presenting the latest information, the 30-min programmes will air fortnightly on Tuesdays at 4pm, from June to October 2020.
The programme content covers both climate change mitigation and adaptation in relation to health and ranges from research and innovation to policy and operational implementation. There is a strong focus on equity and how the right post-COVID response can bring wide co-benefits to health, health equity and well-being.
See here to find out more and to register. Recordings of many of the events will also be posted.
Submission guide for the Accessible Streets package of rule changes
There are significant co-benefits for health, climate and equitable access from active transport (biking, walking, wheelchair use, scooting, skating). The Government is seeking public feedback on its “accessible streets” package of rules designed to encourage walking, biking, and support liveable and vibrant towns and cities. However, many of the proposed changes will erode the rights of pedestrians and people with disabilities on the footpath while having minimal impact on the convenience of people in cars. It is time the government addressed providing safe space for cyclists and other “third speed” transport like e-scooters, while protecting the rights and safety of footpath users. This can be achieved by creating safe space for “third speed” transport by reducing vehicle speed limits on roads, bike friendly traffic calming infrastructure and high quality cycle path infrastructure. Deadline for submissions is 5pm Wednesday 20 May.
OraTaiao submission, 6 May 2020
The food system is a major contributor to ill health and many of the environmental challenges facing us nationally and globally. In New Zealand, food production contributes about half of the country’s total climate pollution. Both central and local government have significant parts to play in addressing the urgent transformation that is now needed in the way we produce and consume food. Cities are increasingly recognising this around the world.Read more
Climate Explained: How the climate impact of beef compares with plant-based alternatives.
Dr Alexandra Macmillan and Jono Drew answer questions on how food choices make a difference to the climate impact of our diet.
Article on Budget 2020 and letter from health professionals asking for focus on climate change. Article includes comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor, Dr Alex Macmillan, "the Government can't let us go back to business as usual, because that business as usual was both unhealthy and unfair."
3 May 2020
Leading NZ health professional organisations have written to the Government asking them to prioritise Budget 2020 funding for a just transition to a climate-resilient, sustainable and low-emissions economy.
The letter, led by OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council, was sent to the Minister and Associate Ministers of Finance on Sunday 3 May, and urges the Government to heed health advice that has for many years been warning of the serious health threat posed by the climate crisis.Read more
15 April 2020
Health professionals are calling for the government’s economic stimulus to do triple duty for people, planet and prosperity.
“We can’t return to business as usual. We need a new framework to guide public investment. As the Government invests to get the economy going after lockdown we must ensure this public money is well spent and has a long term benefit for people, planet and prosperity,” said Dr. Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor, OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council.Read more
Those of us at OraTaiao would like to express our solidarity with you all at this uncertain and challenging time, and we’d like to acknowledge our members working with patients and on the COVID-19 response. Thank you for everything you are doing!
In the meantime, at OraTaiao we will be continuing essential climate change work, and we are calling for pandemic responses that reduce inequities and centre te Tiriti, because pandemic justice is crucial to climate justice. Please take care of yourselves and others and we’ll keep you posted with updates.
Article on the merits of a plant-based diet, and changing consumer behaviour, with comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Alexandra Macmillan.