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.


Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

OraTaiao submission to the Environment Select Committee on the “Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015”.  14 March 2016.

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Submission to the TPPA Select Committee

OraTaiao submission to Parliamentary Select Committee: International treaty examination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), 11 March 2016

'Our main concern is: Climate change is a major issue of human health and survival. It requires urgent action globally and in New Zealand (NZ) to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions – particularly the emissions from fossil fuels. The TPPA will hinder the ability of NZ (and the other signatory nations) to pass policy and regulation to achieve this.'

Read full submission here.

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Emissions Trading Scheme 2015/16 Review - Priority Issues

OraTaiao submission NZ Emissions Trading Scheme 2015/16 Review - Priority Issues. 24 February 2016.

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Wellington Airport Runway Extension Proposal feedback

OraTaiao submission on Wellington Airport Runway Extension Proposal. 12 February 2016.

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Five ideas for Wellington City Council’s 2016/17 draft Annual Plan

OraTaiao’s five ideas for Wellington City Council’s 2016/17 draft Annual Plan. Submission 5 February 2016.

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Health groups call for TPPA health check-up

MEDIA RELEASE
3 February 2016

Health groups across NZ are repeating their call for an independent expert health impact assessment of the draft TPP agreement. Dr Alex Macmillan from OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council says: “New Zealanders need to know the full impact of this deal on our health and health system.”

“We share the concerns of the World Medical Association - and we agree with the NZMA that last week’s National Interest Analysis does not adequately address health impacts.”

“Our freedom to pass laws for a healthy country and climate - and respond to new health threats - is non-negotiable.” says Dr Macmillan. “To quote the World Health Organisation’s Director-General: ‘one particularly disturbing trend is the use of foreign investment agreements to handcuff governments and reduce their policy space.’ “

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Blog 3 from our co-convenor in Paris

Paris Blog 3 - Civil society in the Green Zone at COP21 climate negotiations. OraTaiao co-convenor Dr Alex Macmillan gives some interesting insights into the activities of civil society at the Paris climate negotiations. Read here.

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Op Ed in NZ Herald, 31 Dec 2015

TPP could trump climate accord. Drs Josh Freeman and Hayley Bennett. New Zealand Herald, 31 Dec 2015

Trade deal gives polluters power to sue governments who try to implement the Paris agreement. More here.

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Paris Agreement is health agreement for the 21st Century

The Paris Agreement on climate change will be at the heart of progress in public health in every country around the world, providing the blueprint for a healthy and safe future. The deal lays the groundwork for global action to limit warming well below 2°C, and needs to catalyse a transition to a decarbonised economy while protecting human well-being.

The agreement has been made possible by a fast-growing global momentum from all parts of society. The global health sector made its voice heard at COP21, with declarations representing over 1700 health organizations, over 8000 hospitals and health facilities, and 13 million health professionals calling for urgent action to protect our climate and our health.

However, the agreement is only as good as the actions we now take. Much work needs to be done by the governments of all countries, including New Zealand. The health impacts of climate change are already being seen around the world with hundreds of thousands already dying as a result of climate change each year and millions more affected by the health burden of our carbon-intensive economies. Man-made air pollution alone claims one in eight lives worldwide and more than a thousand deaths per year in New Zealand.

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Blog 2 from our co-convenor in Paris

Health in the COP21 – the final 24 hours of negotiations

From the start of this round of negotiations, it seemed clear that the climate and health message was getting through.  At least for low- and middle-income countries the link between climate is a clear and present danger to health on a daily basis.

Not only that, it was obvious that the negotiators had learnt from Copenhagen and built the international political will for a global agreement that might be strong enough to protect human health equitably.

In the lead-up to the COP and over the last week, the French have been using their famed diplomacy to the utmost to ensure success.

The Agreement itself is short compared with previous attempts – the draft released at the start of the week by the diplomats a mere pamphlet at 20 pages long, with the latest version at 27 pages. This includes a preamble of short paragraphs where values and matters considered are introduced followed by the Treaty itself as a series of Articles.

A health protecting agreement would be one that all the major emitting countries have signed up to, it would set a ceiling on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted in keeping with the a goal of leaving nobody behind, and it would include clear timeframes and mechanisms for accountability.

So how has human health fared in the agreement as it’s come together over the last week?

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