This section has our latest media work (including media releases, opinion editorials, radio and television interviews, and letters to the editor), as well as the latest submissions, publications, briefing papers and position statements.

To access older items, please click on the relevant links above. Media enquiries, see contact us.

Sustainable Healthcare Forum 24th Nov 2017

Watch recordings and presentations from the Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa-NZ Forum, "Human health relies on a healthy planet - health care without harm?", Wellington, 24th Nov 2017:

Introduction and Mihi - Dr Rhys Jones, Dr Alex Macmillan, Dr David Galler Presentation

The Big Picture Context Around Climate Action & Sustainability in the Health Sector - Prof Sir Muir Gray Presentation

Impacts of Climate Change in NZ and the Deep South National Science Challenge - Dr Mike Williams Presentation

Implications for Health Effects of Climate Change in NZ and for Health Sector Adaptation - Dr Alex Macmillan Presentation

Co-benefits of Climate Action & Sustainability in the Health Sector - Dr Hayley Bennett Presentation

Getting Started with DHB Sustainability - Margriet Geesink - Presentation

Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Anaesthesia - Dr Rob Burrell - Presentation

Climate Smart Hospital Redevelopment - Dr Matt Jenks - Presentation

DHB Travel Planning - Valentino Luna-Hernandez - Presentation

Primary Care Climate and Sustainability Action - Dr Rebecca Randerson - Presentation

Waitakere Hospital Woodford Gardens - William Van Ausdal - Powerpoint

Preparing for the Health Impacts of Climate Change - Dr Richard Jaine - Presentation

Sustainability Impacts of Our Daily Clinical Decisions - Dr Forbes McGain - Presentation

Successes in DHB Sustainability Report - Dr Gay Keating - Presentation

Measuring the Success of Climate and Sustainability Action in DHBs - Debbie Wilson - Presentation

Tips for Getting DHB Leadership on Board - Dr David Galler - Presentation

NZ Green Building Council Green Star Performance Tool for Assessing Health Buildings - Sam Archer - Presentation

Energy Efficiency in the Health Sector - Graham Dray - Presentation

Address by Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter

Closing/Whakamutunga - Dr Rhys Jones - Presentation







See Flyer here


SHC programme - word doc

SHC programme - pdf

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District health board successes in environmental sustainability

DHB Successes in Environmental Sustainability. A Report to Community and Public Health Canterbury District Health Board, by Dr Gay Keating.


Health professionals support legal challenge against government’s climate policy

27 June 2017

New Zealanders’ health is at stake in a court case challenging the government over its failure to tackle climate change. Law student Sarah Thomson is taking on the Minister for Climate Change Issues, arguing that New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target is illegal.

As part of the global Paris Climate Agreement, our government chose a weak target of reducing climate-damaging emissions by 11% (below 1990 levels) by 2030. It plans to achieve this mostly by paying other countries to take action.

Ms Thomson’s case argues that the government’s analysis in setting this target was illogically one-sided.  Costs of emissions-reduction action were counted, but the wider gains from climate action and the very real costs of climate changes were ignored. 

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Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018/19-2027/28

OraTaiao submission, 31 March 2017

'Climate changes fundamentally threaten human health and wellbeing; yet well-designed climate action can mean greater health and fairness in both the short and longer term. Transport is integral to this. There are close links between transport, climate and health, where eg.

  • active and sustainable modes of transport (such as walking and cycling) positively affect health; 
  • the current reliance on private motor vehicle transport has negative impacts on health through greenhouse gas emissions, road traffic crashes, air and noise pollution and increased sedentary time. 

'This submission relates to the GPS2018 and: acting on climate change, prioritising active transport, prioritising public transport, the opportunity costs of poorly cost-effective roading choices including lost health gains, and the importance of making transport user hierarchies and the NZ Health Strategy integral to GPS2018's Strategic direction and Objectives.'

Read the submission here (PDF).


Greater Wellington Regional Council Annual Plan 2017/18

OraTaiao submission on Greater Wellington Regional Council Annual Plan 2017/18. 12 April 2017.


Health professionals welcome today’s Zero Carbon Act launch

10 April 2017

Health professionals congratulate Generation Zero on today’s Zero Carbon Act campaign launch.  

The Act is designed to reduce New Zealand’s long-lived greenhouse gas emissions to net zero within a generation. This means by 2050 our dangerous climate pollution will have been reduced enough to be completely absorbed by increased forests.

The Zero Carbon Act – modelled on the UK’s successful Climate Change Act passed by a conservative-led government in 2008 – will bind future governments to genuine action that protects New Zealand.

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Māori health leader speaks about climate change at COP22

17 November 2016

Māori health leader speaks about climate change and the right to health at COP22

World leaders are meeting in Marrakesh to bring to life the promises made to limit climate change in the Paris Agreement. Earlier this week Rhys Jones, a Māori doctor and co-convenor of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate & Health Council, called for climate action that protects human rights, especially indigenous rights, children’s rights and the right to health.

Dr Jones is in Morocco at COP22 participating in an event hosted by the World Health Organization and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Hospitals should not be smoking a giant cigarette

12 November 2016

Despite New Zealand being a signatory to the new Paris climate agreement, the Ministry of Health is considering the use of coal in Christchurch Hospital’s boiler. OraTaiao, the New Zealand Climate and Health Council and the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) say to do so would be a mistake for the climate and for health. Although coal burning may achieve short-term financial savings, it is a false economy. Coal burning is inconsistent with the Ministry’s legislated responsibility to protect health. 

OraTaiao and the NZMSA are jointly urging the Ministry to support Christchurch Hospital’s switch to lower emission wood waste rather than coal.

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Staying cool and healthy in rising heat

29 January 2017

“Take care as the heat rises” advises Dr Alex Macmillan,co-convenor of OraTaiao, The NZ Climate and Health Council, “especially if you’re elderly, pregnant, or already have a medical condition. Babies and children are also more at risk with rising heat, while healthy adults who work outdoors are also especially vulnerable.”

“If there are people in your care, make sure they can keep cool enough. This includes at work, school, early childhood centres, rest homes, prisons, sporting and cultural events,” says Dr Macmillan.

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UN experts urge New Zealand to protect children’s rights from climate change

14 October 2016

This week is World Climate Week. In the same United Nations Committee report damning New Zealand’s inaction on child poverty, the committee has also expressed its concern about the harmful impact of climate change on New Zealand children, especially Māori and Pacific children and children living in low-income families. 

OraTaiao, the New Zealand Climate and Health Council, welcomes the report from the UN experts. Dr Rhys Jones, Co-Convenor of OraTaiao, says the UN recommendations are sensible and important.

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‘Healthy Climate, Healthy People’


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