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.


The emissions budgets published in 2022, and the first emissions reduction plan

OraTaiao submission to the Environment Committee Komiti Taiao, 27 June 2022

"After OraTaiao’s twelve years of calling for fast fair Tiriti-founded climate action that is healthy for our planet and those who live here, we have mixed feelings about this plan. We are both relieved that legislative and governmental structures are in place with the first plan for climate action finally being proposed, and deeply concerned at how slow and limited this action is. 

"There are two fundamental flaws with the Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP): the level of ambition (speed, scale and coverage) is just a fraction of what’s needed, and the agricultural sector, which is our biggest climate polluter, is absent. OraTaiao commends however the ERP focus on empowering Māori." 

Read full submission, including our response to the Environment Committee Komiti Taiao’s key questions, here

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Active Transportation Policy Statement

OraTaiao's stance on climate action and public health supports the facilitation of active transportation in New Zealand. Currently, New Zealand's infrastructure does not support active transportation, with poor walkways and cycleways not allowing for complete trips to where people need and want to go. Nor do they support trips which are safe from traffic injury or crime. It is time for New Zealand to implement the infrastructure and policy needed for active transportation, which will have vast co-health benefits to the overstressed health system and reduce emissions leading to climate change. Read our full statement at the link below. 

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Submission on the Draft National Adaptation Plan

This submission was prepared by representative members of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council including our Executive Board, Sylvia Boyd and Matthew Jenks. It is focused on optimising the benefits and minimising the damage to health, wellbeing and equity from our adaptation to climate change. We stress that our National Adaptation Plan must be an opportunity grasped to centralise Te Ao Māori, and return agency and leadership to iwi and hapū around the country. Finally, we recommend that the National Adaptation Plan takes more into account its crucial role in driving emissions reductions as well as simply adaptation.

Read full submission here.

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Stuff Matariki magazine: The young researcher exploring how food heals people and planet

Interview with OraTaiao Co-convenor Summer Wright on the potential of future foods and plant-based foods for Māori aspirations for social justice and wellbeing. Read here

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TV One News - World Health Day

On World Health Day, TV One News covers our joint letter to the Minister of Health, asking for a new sustainability unit in health sector.

See here from 7min 11s. 

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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.

Read more >
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Joint letter to the Minister of Health on World Health Day 2022

Today is World Health Day and eleven health organisations (OraTaiao NZ Climate & Health Council; the New Zealand Medical Association; the New Zealand Nursing Organisation; the College of Nurses; the NZ Society of Anaesthetists; the NZ College of Midwives; Hāpai Te Hauora; the Royal Australian and NZ College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; the Royal Australasian College of Physicians; The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners) have written a joint letter to the Minister of Health asking for NZ's health system to be made climate ready and climate friendly. 

Letter to the Minister of Health Andrew Little - 7 April 2022

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Stuff: Flying doctors - will health workers break their high-emitting habits?

Article on the climate harming emissions produced by international travel in the health sector, with comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey. Read here

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OraTaiao supports climate action for Auckland

OraTaiao submission on Auckland Council's Annual Budget, 24 March 2022

"OraTaiao welcomes the climate action package – including the targeted rate - which is not only crucial to reducing the city’s growing greenhouse gas emissions, but also offers significant health benefits to residents by improving public transport, cycleways and walkways and increasing urban forests."

Read full submission here.

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NZ Doctor: Cascade of impacts, an ambitious plan - Already vulnerable people at highest risk from climate change

Article on the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities and the need to factor equity into solutions and elevate mātauranga Māori knowledge, with quotes from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey. Read here.

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Show your support for a climate friendly Auckland!

Auckland Council’s annual budget for 2022 - 2023 is out for consultation and the main focus is climate change! Please show your support by making a quick (3 minute) submission by 28 March 2022. 

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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.

Read more >
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NZ Doctor: Climate change urgency nowhere to be seen

Interview with OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey on health sector emissions, and the need for a sustainability unit in the new health agencies. Read here (subscribers only).

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Children’s rights and the environment

OraTaiao submission to the United Nations, 15 February 2022

"Aotearoa New Zealand is not taking the necessary actions to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This fails children within our nation and our extraterritorial obligations to protect the rights of children globally." Submission to the UN prepared by OraTaiao members Liz Springford, Dr Alison Blaiklock and Dr Penelope Milson.

Read full submission here.

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Every wetland counts | He puipuiaki ia rohe koreporepo

Wetlands are 'climate heroes' - they are a major carbon sink and increase the resilience of communities against floods and storms. Wetlands are uniquely biodiverse, while also contributing to human health through recreation and kai Māori. OraTaiao has collaborated with Forest & Bird to create a pamphlet outlining actions the Government must take to protect wetlands.
Read more >
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Radio New Zealand: The Panel with Jennie Moreton and Shane Te Pou (Part 2)

Listen here to OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey on a panel discussion about gas stoves (11.25 minutes into the panel).

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Stuff: Gas stoves bad news for household health and the climate, researchers say

Article on the health and climate impacts of cooking with gas stoves, includes comments from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey. Read here.

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Budget 2022 - letter to the Finance and Expenditure Committee

OraTaiao has written to the Finance and Expenditure Committee about NZ's Budget Policy Statement 2022 recommending that the focus of the budget (and subsequent budgets) have Aotearoa’s response to climate change as the main point. 

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Submission on Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill

OraTaiao submission, 9 December 2021

As one of the largest single public sector source of climate emissions, the health sector requires urgent decarbonisation. Given the majority of these emissions derive from procured services and products, and with the complex organisational interlinks within the sector a dedicated sustainability unit is essential to oversee the process.

Read full submission here.

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Emissions Reduction Plan

OraTaiao submission, 24 November 2021

The Government's draft plan to reduce emission over the next 15 years is unambitious, flawed in many areas, and inadequate as a plan addressing the “biggest health crisis of the 21st century". The potential to recoup costs of emissions reducing policies with significant health gains, let alone savings from avoided climate change, must drive responsible and effective emissions planning.

Read full submission here.

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