• Election 2020: The big climate hole

    MEDIA RELEASE, 28 September 2020

    Health professionals have expressed surprise at the silence around this century’s biggest population health threat in the 2020 general election.

    “We have found that even some of our major parties have either no plans on what to do about climate change or have ones which are actively harmful. Having no good climate policy today is a bit like having no public health policy during a pandemic,” said Dr Dermot Coffey, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council, on releasing an election scorecard today. 

  • Scorecard for NZ Election 2020 - Climate Change and Health

    Scorecard and report by OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council rating political parties' policies on climate change and health for NZ General Election 2020. See here (PDF).

  • COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill

    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.

    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

  • Make our streets better for people!

    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.

  • Nelson City Annual Plan Consultation

    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.

  • Q&A in Stuff, 6 May 2020

    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. Read here.

  • Stuff: Budget 2020 spending on climate could improve public health resilience, experts say

    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." Read here.

  • Budget 2020 must tackle climate crisis say health organisations

    MEDIA RELEASE, 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.

  • Letter to Finance Ministers May 2020

    Fifteen health professional organisations wrote to Hon Grant Robertson (Minister of Finance), Hon James Shaw (Associate Minister of Finance), and Hon Shane Jones (Associate Minister of Finance) urging prioritisation of funding for a just transition to a climate-resilient, sustainable and low-emissions economy in the 2020 Budget.

  • Government spend now must do ‘triple duty’ for people, planet and prosperity

    MEDIA STATEMENT15 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.

  • Message on COVID-19

    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.

  • We need to talk about Vegans: should New Zealand embrace a meatless future?

    Article on the merits of a plant-based diet, and changing consumer behaviour, with comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Alexandra Macmillan. Read here.

  • Call for abstracts | Karanga mō ngā Tuhinga Whakarāpopoto

    COVID-19: The Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa 2020 has been postponed and will now be held in mid-June 2021. There may be a series of webinars run later in 2020. For further information sign up to the mailing list at [email protected] with your contact details and SHCH in the subject line.

  • Phasing out coal in schools and hospitals a win-win for health and the climate

    MEDIA STATEMENT, 30 January 2020

    The Government’s announcement that it is committed to prioritising ending coal-burning for schools and hospitals is welcomed by health workers who have long been calling for such a move.

  • Otago Daily Times: Study finds plant-based diet could save climate

    Article on research showing the emissions reductions, health benefits, and health cost savings which could be achieved from NZ moving to a plant-based diet, with comments from study author and OraTaiao member Jono Drew and OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Alexandra Macmillan. "Fortunately, foods that are health-promoting tend also to be those that are climate friendly." Read here.

  • Newshub: Schools' climate change resource right about meat - study

    Interview with OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Alexandra Macmillan on the impact of diet and food production on greenhouse gas emissions. Watch/read here.

  • Plant-based diets a 'win-win' for health, reducing greenhouse gas emissions - study

    Article on the emissions reductions, health benefits, and health cost savings which could be achieved from NZ moving to a plant-based diet, with comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Alexandra Macmillan. Read here.

  • NZ Herald: Plant-based diet: The case to help slash emissions and save billions

    Article on the the emissions reductions, health benefits, and health cost savings which could be achieved from NZ moving to a plant-based diet, with comments from study author and OraTaiao member, Jono Drew and OraTaiao Co-convenor, Dr Alexandra Macmillan. Read here.

  • Healthy and Climate-Friendly Eating Patterns in the New Zealand Context

    Article by Jono Drew, Dr Alexandra Macmillan and Anja Mizdrak. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 128, No 1, 22 January 2020. Read here (PDF).