• Te taiao under threat: Indigenous voices speak up on climate change

    Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga, the Māori centre of research excellence, has published a major report on the impact of climate change on Māori communities to coincide with the Cop26 conference. An open letter from OraTaiao, the New Zealand Climate and Health Council, last week called for Jacinda Ardern to “proactively place Indigenous and marginalised voices at the centre of Cop26”. Read here


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  • Annual General Meeting will be held on 29 November

    The Annual General Meeting of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council will be held on Monday 29 November at 7.30pm via audioconference/videoconference. This is an excellent opportunity to catch up with fellow OraTaiao members and to see what has been happening over this very eventful year. Please join us if you can – we’d love to have as many members attending this meeting as possible. Details of the agenda and how to join the videoconference will follow closer to the date.

  • Opinion in The Spinoff, October 2021

    Be braver about climate change, New Zealand. Dr George Laking. The Spinoff, 29 October 2021.

    Seven health professional organisations groups have written an open letter to Jacinda Ardern ahead of COP26, demanding a huge increase in Aotearoa’s international climate contribution. OraTaiao Exec member Dr George Laking writes, "Human-induced climate change is the number one threat to health this century. Many people are used to thinking of health as cancer and other chronic conditions. But the things that truly decide health are such basic matters as a food supply and political stability, that in turn depend on the environment." Read here

  • Newsroom: COP26 - ‘World-leading’ Covid response exposes climate failure

    Article about NZ government's weak response to the climate crisis, includes interview with OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey. Read here.

  • NZ ongoing climate and health failure ahead of COP26

    MEDIA STATEMENT, 27 October 2021

    Seven health professional organisations (OraTaiao; NZ Medical Association; NZ Nurses Organisation; and the Colleges for Emergency Medicine, of Nurses, Physicians, and Anaesthetists) have written a joint letter to Prime Minister Ardern and the Climate Change Minister ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, calling for a huge increase in Aotearoa’s international climate contribution, and asking to keep the capacity to limit global warming within a humanly adaptable 1.5 degrees.

  • Letter to PM ahead of COP26

    Seven health professional organisations (OraTaiao, the College of Nurses Aotearoa, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, New Zealand Medical Association, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists) have written a joint letter to Prime Minister Ardern and the Climate Change Minister ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, calling for a huge increase in Aotearoa’s international climate contribution, and asking to keep the capacity to limit global warming within a humanly adaptable 1.5 degrees.  

  • Proposed speed limit changes in Auckland

    OraTaiao submission, 21 October 2021

    "We congratulate Auckland Transport for proposing lower speed limits, especially the 30 km/hr limit on streets in suburbs near schools. In car versus pedestrian assaults, when the impact speed is below about 25km/hr, the risk of death is 5 – 10% but as the impact speed increases beyond 30 km/hr, the risk of death increases exponentially." 

    Read full submission here.

  • Reforming industrial allocation in the New Zealand Emissions Trading scheme

    OraTaiao submission, 15 September 2021

    "The Emissions Trading Scheme is important for public health.... The current free allocation of units represents a subsidy by the Government of climate pollution by industry and is not consistent with the rapid decarbonization of industry that is required to address the climate crisis and meet the ambitions of net zero emissions in Aotearoa/New Zealand by 2050."

    Read full submission here.

  • Stuff: Surgical waste requires culture shift for climate goals

    Article about reducing the carbon footprint of surgery in Aotearoa, NZ, with comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor, Dr Dermot Coffey. Read here.

  • Consultation on approach to COP26

    OraTaiao submission, 30 August 2021

    "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s background document on Aotearoa’s approach to the COP26 negotiations is disappointing - human health and wellbeing are not mentioned once in the entire document. We strongly recommend that our response properly take account of the health risks from climate change, that the national and international health benefits from climate action be appropriately addressed in our approach, and human health and wellbeing be the major principles that guide our negotiations."

    Read full submission here.

  • Submission on the Exposure Draft of the Natural and Built Environments Bill

    OraTaiao submission, 4 August 2021

    OraTaiao recognise and agree that the Resource Management Act (RMA) is in urgent need of renewal, modification and updating. Our natural and built environment is a significant factor in the development of non-communicable diseases in Aotearoa, and with these responsible for 89% of all deaths in Aotearoa and for an estimated 7,000 premature deaths of New Zealanders between the ages of 30 and 70 in 2012[1]. It similarly influences our climate change emissions via transport choices, energy use and farming. Planning for climate change adaptation is now inevitable, and this will be an essential component of all three Acts which will replace the RMA, not just the Climate Adaptation Act.

  • Increasing worries around drinking water nitrate levels and cancer risks, says OraTaiao

    MEDIA STATEMENT, 9 July 2021

    OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council strongly supports the recent call by Forest & Bird, Greenpeace, the Environmental Defence Society, and Choose Clean Water urging Government to limit freshwater nitrate levels to less than 1mg/L.

    "This is a perfect example of where public health, ecological, and climate concerns overlap," says Dermot Coffey, Co-convenor of OraTaiao, "and where setting and achieving a safe limit on nitrate levels will benefit all three simultaneously."

  • New Zealand ranked zero in damning global climate health scorecard

    MEDIA STATEMENT8 July 2021

    “New Zealand’s ranking of zero points on the Global Climate and Health Alliance health scorecard for climate commitments sounds the siren for urgent action,” says Dr Dermot Coffey, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council. The GCHA today publicly released the climate health scorecard for the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of 66 countries with NZ sharing bottom place with just 3 others.

  • Hīkina te Kohupara / Pathways to Net Zero by 2050

    OraTaiao submission, 24 June 2021

    The health and wellbeing co-benefits of climate change mitigation strategies that increase active and public transport are well documented. These co-benefits need to be elevated within Hīkina te Kohupara to become a central focus of the transport system transformation.

    Read full submission here

  • OraTaiao calls for healthier government response to climate advice

    Christchurch, 9 June 2021 -- Responding to today’s release of the Climate Change Commission’s advice to the government on New Zealand’s climate ambitions, OraTaiao called on Minister for Climate Change Hon. James Shaw to safeguard the health of Aotearoa and step up to our fair share when the world meets in Glasgow this November to keep human-adaptable 1.5 degrees warming within reach.

  • OraTaiao appeals to Government: plate up for climate change and health

    MEDIA STATEMENT, 28 May, 2021
    Since Government buys what thousands of us eat daily in New Zealand, ‘buying healthy’ has long been an immediately available yet overlooked step towards addressing climate and health-induced inequities according to OraTaiao: New Zealand Climate and Health Council and they are challenging Government to act now to remedy this.