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.


Health professionals say Dutch court ruling on climate change 'duty of care' relevant to NZ

In a world first, the Dutch court has ordered the state to reduce its climate-changing emissions by 25% (on 1990 levels) in the next five years, to protect its people from climate change.

The law suit was brought to the courts by the Urgenda Foundation, backed by 900 citizens.

The court ruled that because of the great risks posed by climate change, the State has a ‘duty of care’ to take stronger action to reduce climate change (mitigation). 

This ruling comes in the same week as a leading international medical journal The Lancet has reconfirmed climate change as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.

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RadioNZ Our Changing World 24 June 2015

'Climate Change and Health'.  Content from interviews with OraTaiao Co-convenors Dr Alex Macmillan and Dr Rhys Jones, RadioNZ Our Changing World 24 June 2015.

Listen here.

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Setting NZ's post-2020 climate change target

OraTaiao's submission on Government’s consultation on setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target.  3 June 2015. 

Appendix here.

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Count human health in your climate calculations’, health groups tell Ministers

The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand's planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say.

Doctors, nurses, public health professionals and medical students today expressed alarm about the government’s scrambled public consultation on New Zealand’s post-2020 climate contribution.

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Doctors warn TPPA takes away our climate protection tools

OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council warns that negotiations over the Trans- Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) threaten New Zealand’s ability to protect our climate and health.

The Council’s concerns mirror today’s publication of an open letter to the Prime Minister

The biggest threat is the ‘Investor State Dispute Settlement’ (ISDS) provisions. This mechanism allows overseas companies, including fossil fuel companies, to sue our Government if any local law changes might substantially affect their value or profits.

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Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Draft Long Term Plan 2015-2025

OraTaiao's submission on Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Draft Long Term Plan (LTP) 2015-2025. 20 April 2015.

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Submission on WCC’s Draft Long Term Plan 2015-2025

OraTaiao submission states 'the Council’s priority must be creating the infrastructure to support the just transition to a low emissions economy, with particular attention to the most vulnerable households in Wellington. We consider better understanding the implications of climate changes – not just sea level rises and extreme weather events – for our Wellington economy and communities as critical.'

Read full submission here.

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Submission on the Greater Wellington Climate Change Strategy

OraTaiao 'welcomes Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Climate Change Strategy. We are concerned that the strategy under-emphasises mitigation – reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. There are many sound reasons why rapidly reducing the region’s greenhouse gas emissions is the best course for the region’s economic and social wellbeing – including future-proofing our region and securing real health gains in the short and longer term'.

Read full submission here.

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Submission to Greater Wellington Regional Council on its Draft Regional Land Transport Plan

OraTaiao points out that:'To be resilient, modern cities must address man-made climate change and its causes. Our Council has major concerns that the climate and health implications of the RLT Plan have not been addressed. We call on GW to perform an updated Health Impact Assessment of any of its major transport plans, taking into account Climate Change and the wide health effects of transport policies on the community.'

Read full submission here.

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Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Health 2014

Climate change is among the most serious threats to health faced by New Zealand, but it also represents an unprecedented opportunity to improve health, create a fairer society,and reduce costs for the health sector.

Read in full here.

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