Opinion Editorials

  • Op Ed in NZ Doctor, 12 October 2023: Throwing fuel at the bonfire no substitute for climate action

    The piling up of threat upon threat as global warming accelerates is not matched by political will to reduce and mitigate climate change effects, writes OraTaiao Co-convenor Dermot Coffey in New Zealand Doctor Rata Aotearoa. We are grateful for permission to now republish his op-ed here. 

  • “Prescribing a Healthy Planet” – Invited editorial in the September 2023 NZ Medical Student Journal

    Human wellbeing is inexorably linked with planetary health. This relationship has long been understood in Indigenous worldviews and is receiving increasing attention in academic literature and public health movements. The health sector now needs to accept our crucial central role in Aotearoa’s climate response and every one of us needs to add our part. Writing in the September 2023 New Zealand Medical Student Journal Te Hautaka o ngā Akongā Rongoā, OraTaiao Board members Dermot Coffey, Summer Wright and Angad S. Chauhan offer suggestions for medical students and clinicians about where to start. Read here

  • Op Ed in NZ Doctor, 16 December 2022: Turn up the heat on emissions goals – Short- changed on climate in year of disaster after disaster

    Despite an increasing awareness of the worsening health impacts of climate change, not enough is being done both domestically and globally, write Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright in the final issue of New Zealand Doctor Rata Aotearoa for 2022. We are grateful for permission to now republish their op-ed here. 


  • Op Ed in NZ Doctor, 21 November 2022: A COP-out on a #HealthyClimate?

    Given the weak outcome on fossil fuels at COP27, the agreement to set up a fund to compensate developing countries for climate change loss and damage will be sorely needed, write OraTaiao Co-convenors Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright. Read here

  • Opinion in The Spinoff, October 2021

    Be braver about climate change, New Zealand. Dr George Laking. The Spinoff, 29 October 2021.

    Seven health professional organisations groups have written an open letter to Jacinda Ardern ahead of COP26, demanding a huge increase in Aotearoa’s international climate contribution. OraTaiao Exec member Dr George Laking writes, "Human-induced climate change is the number one threat to health this century. Many people are used to thinking of health as cancer and other chronic conditions. But the things that truly decide health are such basic matters as a food supply and political stability, that in turn depend on the environment." Read here

  • Opinion in Stuff, November 2020

    People don't need educating on cycleways, just do it. Dr Dermot Coffey. Stuff news, 10 November 2020.

    We need to focus on the systemic and structural barriers to climate change actions, and to make use of health expertise in our climate change response. Read here.

  • Comment in Newsroom, 4 October 2020

    Leaders need to lead on climate action. Rod Oram. Newsroom, 4 October 2020.

    OraTaiao's scorecard rating political parties' policies on climate change & health is showcased in this comment piece by journalist Rod Oram. See here.

  • Q&A in Stuff, 6 May 2020

    Climate Explained: How the climate impact of beef compares with plant-based alternatives.

    Dr Alexandra Macmillan and Jono Drew answer questions on how food choices make a difference to the climate impact of our diet. Read here.

  • Q&A in The Conversation, 7 August 2019

    Climate Q&A: will we be less healthy because of climate change? Dr Alexandra Macmillan. The Conversation, 7 August 2019.

    The overwhelmingly negative effects of climate change on health are a strong argument for urgent action to reduce our climate pollution. More here.

  • Column in Otago Daily Times, 24 June 2019

    A clean bill of health. Dr Alexandra Macmillan. Otago Daily Times, 24 June 2019.

    Strong legislation on addressing climate change can leave us all better off. Read article here.