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.

Newly appointed climate change commission a crucial step with major expertise gap

18 December 2019

The newly appointed climate change commission is an important step towards New Zealand being able to put the necessary policies in place to protect our health and wellbeing from climate change, but it lacks the full expertise to bring about the transformative change that New Zealand needs to meet its climate change commitments to ensure our safety and well-being into the future, according to Dr Alexandra Macmillan, Co-convenor, OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council.

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Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill

OraTaiao submission, 11 December 2019

"The significance of climate disruption for the mental health and well-being of those alive today and for future generations simply cannot be ignored. A focus on the climate crisis thus needs to be highlighted in legislation defining the Commission’s role."

Read full submission here.

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Should health professionals participate in civil disobedience in response to the climate change health emergency?

Article in The Lancet by OraTaiao members Dr Hayley Bennet, Dr Alexandra Macmillan, Dr Rhys Jones, and Dr Alison Blaiklock with Prof John Mcmillan. In this article a framework is applied to guide decision making by considering whether climate change justifies civil disobedience by health professionals as part of a duty of care. 

Read here (PDF).

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Climate medicine: our changing climate and health inequity in ​New Zealand

Article in the New Zealand Medical Students Journal by executive board member Cameron Toogood on how the impacts of climate change will both exacerbate current inequities of health and generate new ones, and the need for region specific information.

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Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa 2020

COVID-19: The Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa 2020 has been postponed and will now be held in mid-June 2021. There may be a series of webinars run later in 2020. For further information, sign up to the mailing list at with your contact details and SHCH in the subject line.

From research and innovation to policy and implementation

A multi-day event combining the Sustainable Healthcare Forum Aotearoa and the Climate Change and Health Research Conference

16–17 June 2020, Wellington, New Zealand

The Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa is a two-day conference in 2020, open to anyone interested in ensuring New Zealand moves ahead with urgency to a low emission and equitable healthcare sector. The programme includes presentations, discussions, and opportunities to connect on sustainable healthcare and climate change and health.

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College of GPs signs joint call for action on climate change and health

28 November 2019

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practioners has made a formal commitment to confront the health effects of climate change and has signed the 'Health Professionals Joint Call for Action on Climate Change and Health'.  

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Add your reaction Share Wildfires, disease and food loss predicted for world's climate future - research

Article on findings from the 2019 report - Lancet Countdown on climate change and health with comments from Dr Alexandra Macmillan, OraTaiao Co-convenor.

See here.

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Farm to fork - Can changing your eating habits save the planet?

An article in Consumer magazine on the EAT-Lancet guidelines for a healthy and sustainable diet, with an NZ focus. Includes quotes from OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Alexandra Macmillan.

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Healthy Food and Drink Guidance survey

OraTaiao submission to Ministry of Health, 8 November 2019

"Healthy eating, including increased intake of plant-based foods and less consumption of red meat and animal fat (particularly highly processed animal products), would both help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to significant improvements in health. This also aligns with the targets for New Zealand to have net zero carbon emissions and reduced methane emissions by 2050."

Read full submission here (PDF).

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Health professionals celebrate passing of the Zero Carbon Act

7 November 2019

Health professionals are celebrating the historic passing of the Zero Carbon Act. They applaud its purpose to prevent global warming of more than 1.5 degrees and the inclusion of methane targets. 

“This Act is a crucial piece of legislation for health and wellbeing. It lays the foundations for realising the exciting opportunities that climate action can bring for health and fairness,” says Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council.

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