• 'Plant based' diet could cut disease, hospital costs and emissions, NZ health sector says

    Article on the benefits of a sustainable diet and why we need a strong Zero Carbon Bill with quotes from Dr Alexandra Macmillan, OraTaiao Co-convenor. Read here.

  • Radio Waatea: Māori health expertise needed for climate action plan

    Interview here with Co-convenor, Dr Alexandra Macmillan, on the need for well designed climate policy.

  • Newshub: Fighting climate change vital to protect Kiwis' health - doctor

    Interview with Co-convenor, Dr Alexandra Macmillan, about why healthcare workers are demanding stronger action on climate change. Read more here.

  • Select Committee hearing: Health sector groups ask for strong Zero Carbon Bill to include health

    MEDIA RELEASE29 August 2019

    This morning at Environment Select Committee hearings, five health sector groups representing more than 55,000 health workers, called for health and fairness to be at the heart of a strengthened Zero Carbon Bill.

    “We support a Zero Carbon Bill to help us stay within 1.5 degrees of global warming to protect people’s wellbeing from the impacts of climate change. It also needs to be strengthened to take advantage of the huge opportunities of well-designed climate policy for better health and wellbeing. With well-designed climate policy we would expect to see substantial health gains,” says Dr Alexandra Macmillan, Co-convenor, OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council.

  • Te Hiku Radio: Zero Carbon Bill supported by Health professionals across NZ

    Interview here with Dr Alexandra Macmillan about why health professionals strongly support the Zero Carbon Bill.

  • Ministry right to urge reduced meat and dairy in hospitals


    The New Zealand Climate & Health Council and health promotion charity Doctors for Nutrition strongly support the new Sustainability and the Health Sector guidance announced last week as it will result in a much healthier population.

    “People and the planet will both be healthier if we shift towards a plant-based diet, and cut back on meat and dairy, as recommended,” according to Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council.

  • Q&A in The Conversation, 7 August 2019

    Climate Q&A: will we be less healthy because of climate change? Dr Alexandra Macmillan. The Conversation, 7 August 2019.

    The overwhelmingly negative effects of climate change on health are a strong argument for urgent action to reduce our climate pollution. More here.

  • Zero Carbon Bill

    OraTaiao submission on the Zero Carbon Bill - Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act, 15 July 2019

    "We welcome the Bill, which is not only crucial to reducing New Zealand emissions, but is also among our generation’s most important pieces of health legislation. OraTaiao, alongside other experts in climate change and health, strongly believes that tackling climate change is potentially the greatest global health opportunity of the century. Our submission is focused on the potential health gains and the other co-benefits that can result from well-designed strategies to reduce New Zealand’s emissions...

    "We have major concerns, however, that the Bill: does not adequately embed health and health equity; does not adequately incorporate the benefits, costs, and risks of climate action; fails to make adequate provision for meeting the government’s obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi; fails to demonstrate true domestic and international leadership on greenhouse gas reduction targets; lacks enforceability mechanisms that are necessary to ensure that greenhouse gas targets are met."

    Read the submission here (PDF).

  • Submit on the Zero Carbon Bill

    Help put health at the heart of the bill!

    The Government is consulting on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. The bill needs to be strengthened and to explicitly reference health, health equity and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

    We encourage you to make a submission as an individual or on behalf of your organisation. Closing date for submissions is 16 July 2019. 

  • Column in Otago Daily Times, 24 June 2019

    A clean bill of health. Dr Alexandra Macmillan. Otago Daily Times, 24 June 2019.

    Strong legislation on addressing climate change can leave us all better off. Read article here.

  • Can what we eat help save the world?

    Article by Rebecca Sinclair. Te Puawai: The Professional Update for Registered Nurses, May 2019. Read here (PDF).

  • Sustainable Healthcare Forum 8th May 2019

    The 2nd Sustainable Healthcare Forum was organised by OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council, and the Sustainable Health Sector National Network NZ (SHSNN)

    Watch recordings and presentations from the 2nd Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa-NZ Forum, Wellington, 8th May 2019

  • NZ Herald: 'Show us how it's done' - 22 leading NZ academics who back the School Strike 4 Climate

    Article on the School Strikes for Climate with comments by Co-convenors Dr Alex Macmillan and Dr Rhys Jones. Read here.

  • Zero Carbon Bill is critical legislation for health, but targets are too little, too late


    8 May 2019

    Health professionals have offered a mixed response to the Zero Carbon Bill, which was introduced into Parliament today. They applaud its purpose to prevent global warming of more than 1.5 degrees, but say aspects of the bill lack the necessary urgency and accountability.

    “The Bill’s targets as they stand today would be too little, too late,” said Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council. “The Zero Carbon Bill is too weak on agricultural emissions which comprise almost half of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions. We need to see a move away from beef and dairy for both the sake of human and planetary health.”

  • NZ's health sector asks for government targets on DHB emissions


    8 May 2019

    Health workers delivered a strong message to the Coalition Government at the National Forum on Sustainable Healthcare today. They are asking for urgent policy to ensure that District Health Boards (DHBs) and the wider health sector are held accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions and environmental footprint.

    An open letter to the Ministers of Health and Climate Change was presented. Signed by over 900 New Zealand healthcare workers wanting change, the message to the Government is that the health sector is ready to lead NZ to a sustainable and healthy future.

  • Climate change and indigenous health promotion

    Research article by Dr Rhys Jones. Global Health Promotion Journal, 9 April 2019. Read here (PDF).

  • Agricultural sector must be held accountable for climate and health harm


    26 March 2019

    Health professionals have expressed concern about a newly-released report by New Zealand’s Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment examining how to deal with greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. While the report contains some useful ideas, they say, it fails to hold the agricultural sector accountable for its harm to both the environment and human health.

    In considering the merits of potential policy options, the report proposes leaving biological emissions out of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and instead taking a ‘landscape approach’ to managing climate and environmental issues. It effectively undermines the case for the agricultural sector to immediately face a price on biological emissions under the ETS.

  • Radio Waatea: Citizenship lesson from climate strike

    Co-convenor, Dr Alexandra Macmillan, says young people will face the burden of extreme weather events. Interview here.

  • Health professionals support students in their strike for healthy climate action

    13 March 2019

    Health professionals are pledging their support for school students around New Zealand who will be striking this Friday to call for meaningful action on climate change.

    “As health professionals we know that climate change is already affecting the wellbeing of children and young people,” says Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council.

    “For as long as adults in leadership and government fail to act adequately to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, we will support school students to strike in protection of their own futures.”