This section has our latest media work (including media releases, opinion editorials, radio and television interviews, and letters to the editor), as well as the latest submissions, publications, briefing papers and position statements.

To access older items, please click on the relevant links above. Media enquiries, see contact us.

Sustainable Health Sector Network conference posters

The presentations and posters from the Sustainable Health Sector Network conference are now available at 2021 Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Aotearoa Conference website (

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

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.

We have three overarching points to make in our feedback

  • Overall, the Exposure Draft of Natural and Built Environments Bill is encouraging and a significant improvement on the existing RMA.
  • We recommend that the specific consideration of health and wellbeing (as distinct from wellbeing alone) be incorporated in the Exposure Draft. There is insufficient focus on the impacts of the natural and built environment on health.
  • We recommend that the role of te ao Māori be strengthened and centralised within the Bill. At present the Exposure Draft merely gives “greater recognition” to te ao Māori.

These points will be further expanded on below in our feedback on the Reform Objectives, Blueprint for Reform, and the Exposure Draft itself.


[1] Bullen C et al. (2015) ‘Targets and actions for non-communicable disease prevention and control in New Zealand’. NZMJ. 128: pp 55-60.


Read the full submission here

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

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


Global Climate Health Alliance rating of NZ NDC commitment

“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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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

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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

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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Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan

OraTaiao submission, 2 May 2021

"While we support the intent of the draft advice, much more ambitious targets for active and public transport increases, and modeshare shifts from private motor vehicles need to be included. There has not been enough consideration of the health and health equity gains that can be made by emission reducing policies and Te Tiriti o Waitangi has not been centralised."

Read full submission here.

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Climate Change Commission's first package of advice to the Government "Climate action for Aotearoa"

OraTaiao submission, 26 March 2021

We cannot support the majority of the Commission's recommendations as they do not take into account the health and health equity gains that can be made by emission reducing policies, and the advice does not account for the harm climate change will cause to health and healthy equity.

Read full submission here.

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‘Healthy Climate, Healthy People’


© 2021 OraTaiao: New Zealand Climate and Health Council. Some rights reserved