• Submission on the future of inter-regional passenger rail

    OraTaiao is pleased to see Parliament’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee investigating passenger rail in Aotearoa NZ. We support the focus in the inquiry terms of reference.

    Improving non-motorised transport options will contribute to greater social equity and economic opportunities for people who may not have access to a car. A rail network across the country that connects to other forms of public and active transport will enhance access to society for people living with disabilities. Research shows that public transport is much safer than travel by private vehicle. Climate action through low-emissions transport like rail would make great inroads to addressing the second largest source of climate pollution in Aotearoa. 

    The full submission, prepared by Co-convenors Summer Wright and Dr Dermot Coffey along with Dr Matt Jenks and Dr James Hamill from the OraTaiao leadership, is available here

  • OraTaiao supports "Reshaping Streets" regulatory changes

    OraTaiao strongly supports a change in how our streets are imagined – not as simple thoroughfares or places to store private vehicles, but as part of living, healthy communities. The changes in the Ministry of Transport's proposed regulatory changes will go some way to giving agency back to neighbourhoods and communities, which has been highlighted as a key plank of our climate adaptation response. They will, if implemented correctly, contribute to improvements in physical and psychological well-being. We are pleased to support the overall aims of the draft “Reshaping Streets” changes, though we make recommendations where necessary to strengthen and expand on them.

    The full submission, prepared by Dr Dermot Coffey and members of the OraTaiao leadership including Dr Matt Jenks and Dr James Hamill, is available here

  • OraTaiao Climate Action Kōrero 1 with Alex Dyer: Rethinking and transforming how we move around

    In the first in a series of webinars hosted by OraTaiao, Alex Dyer of Cycle Wellington Paihikara Ki Pōneke talks about the opportunities of rethinking and transforming how we move around in order to benefit health and the climate. 

  • Newsroom: Hospitals’ slow coal switch: ‘Health is the largest carbon emitter in public sector’

    The health sector is the largest emitter of carbon emissions in the public sector. At Te Whatu Ora Southern, 58.6 percent of those emissions come from coal burnt at Dunedin and Invercargill hospitals. As reported in this news article, Dr Matt Jenks and Dr Dermot Coffey of OraTaiao are pushing for a phase-out of coal boilers at our hospitals. Read the article here

  • TVNZ Breakfast 4 August 2022 – National Adaptation Plan

    OraTaiao Co-convenor Dermot Coffey spoke with Indira Stewart on TVNZ Breakfast about New Zealand's First National Adaptation Plan. You can watch the interview here

    OraTaiao Co-convenor Dermot Coffey spoke with Indira Stewart on TVNZ Breakfast about New Zealand's First National Adaptation Plan

  • OraTaiao Active Transportation Policy Statement

    OraTaiao's stance on climate action and public health supports the facilitation of active transportation in New Zealand. Currently, New Zealand's infrastructure does not support active transportation, with poor walkways and cycleways not allowing for complete trips to where people need and want to go. Nor do they support trips which are safe from traffic injury or crime. It is time for New Zealand to implement the infrastructure and policy needed for active transportation, which will have vast co-health benefits to the overstressed health system and reduce emissions leading to climate change. Read our full statement at the link below. 

    Active Transportation Policy Statement

  • The 2022 emissions budgets and the first Emissions Reduction Plan

    OraTaiao submission to the Environment Committee Komiti Taiao, 27 June 2022

    "After OraTaiao’s twelve years of calling for fast fair Tiriti-founded climate action that is healthy for our planet and those who live here, we have mixed feelings about this plan. We are both relieved that legislative and governmental structures are in place with the first plan for climate action finally being proposed, and deeply concerned at how slow and limited this action is. 

    "There are two fundamental flaws with the Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP): the level of ambition (speed, scale and coverage) is just a fraction of what’s needed, and the agricultural sector, which is our biggest climate polluter, is absent. OraTaiao commends however the ERP focus on empowering Māori." 

    Read full submission, including our response to the Environment Committee Komiti Taiao’s key questions, here

  • Submission on the Draft National Adaptation Plan

    This submission was prepared by representative members of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council including our Executive Board, Sylvia Boyd and Matthew Jenks. It is focused on optimising the benefits and minimising the damage to health, wellbeing and equity from our adaptation to climate change. We stress that our National Adaptation Plan must be an opportunity grasped to centralise Te Ao Māori, and return agency and leadership to iwi and hapū around the country. Finally, we recommend that the National Adaptation Plan takes more into account its crucial role in driving emissions reductions as well as simply adaptation.

    Read full submission here.

  • Welcome to the OraTaiao Members' Blog

    The OraTaiao exec wanted to create a space for our members to share and engage with each other.
    To access the members blog, sign in with your OraTaiao login - if you don't have one, just contact [email protected]


  • Stuff: The young researcher exploring how food heals people and planet

    Summer Wright (Ngāti Maniapoto, Pākehā) is a dietician undertaking her PhD at Massey University, investigating the opportunities for Māori businesses in plant-based kai. She is also a co-convenor for climate action and health advocacy group OraTaiao.

    Continue reading here

  • TV One News - World Health Day 2022

    On World Health Day, TV One News covers our joint letter to the Minister of Health, asking for a new sustainability unit in health sector.

    See here from 7min 11s. 

  • World Health Day 2022 - Healthcare workers ask Government to make NZ's health system climate ready and climate friendly

    MEDIA RELEASE, 7 April 2022

    Today is World Health Day and eleven organisations representing doctors, nurses and other health professionals have written to Health Minister Andrew Little asking that, as part of the Government’s health reforms, our healthcare system is made climate ready and climate friendly.

  • Joint letter to the Minister of Health on World Health Day 2022

    Today is World Health Day and eleven health organisations (OraTaiao NZ Climate & Health Council; the New Zealand Medical Association; the New Zealand Nursing Organisation; the College of Nurses; the NZ Society of Anaesthetists; the NZ College of Midwives; Hāpai Te Hauora; the Royal Australian and NZ College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; the Royal Australasian College of Physicians; The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners) have written a joint letter to the Minister of Health asking for NZ's health system to be made climate ready and climate friendly. 

    Letter to the Minister of Health Andrew Little - 7 April 2022

  • Stuff: Flying doctors - will health workers break their high-emitting habits?

    Article on the climate harming emissions produced by international travel in the health sector, with comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey. Read here

  • OraTaiao supports climate action for Auckland

    OraTaiao submission on Auckland Council's Annual Budget, 24 March 2022

    "OraTaiao welcomes the climate action package – including the targeted rate - which is not only crucial to reducing the city’s growing greenhouse gas emissions, but also offers significant health benefits to residents by improving public transport, cycleways and walkways and increasing urban forests."

    Read full submission here.

  • NZ Doctor: Cascade of impacts, an ambitious plan - Already vulnerable people at highest risk from climate change

    Article on the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities and the need to factor equity into solutions and elevate mātauranga Māori knowledge, with quotes from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey. Read here.