Media Releases


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.

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Human physical and mental health already affected by climate change – IPCC report

MEDIA STATEMENT, 1 March 2022

Today’s new IPCC report on the impacts of climate change is a stark warning of the physical and mental health impacts on our communities  from climate breakdown. The report, produced by hundreds of experts worldwide, highlights the damage which has already occurred to nature and people from climate change, including more frequent and intense weather events, and warns of an acceleration unless urgent action is taken.

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No nuclear-free moment but a healthy emissions reduction plan still possible

MEDIA STATEMENT, 18 November 2021

Was NZ-Aotearoa’s appearance at the world’s climate conference COP26 our nuclear-free moment? “Definitely not,” said OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey, “but the good news is that the government can vastly improve on its COP26 failings by putting in place an emissions reduction plan that achieves a healthier, more resilient and more equitable Aotearoa.”

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.  
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OraTaiao underwhelmed by the Budget’s support for climate or health

Simply going by the 2021 Budget, one wouldn’t know our government has declared a climate emergency; rather it was another disappointment in a long string of underwhelming Budgets, said Dr Dermot Coffey, Co-convenor, OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council.

Please read OraTaiao's response to the 2021 Budget.

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Climate Change minister must make urgent health appointment

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT – OraTaiao, RACP, NZMA, Health Promotion Forum of NZ, 25 March 2021

Health organisations have written to Climate Change Minister James Shaw asking him to appoint a public health expert to the Climate Change Commission to ensure Aotearoa improves health as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

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