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. 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.
 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
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
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.
Make a submission to the Climate Change Commission!
The Climate Change Commission is consulting on its first package of advice to the Government which will help shape Aotearoa’s climate crisis response. In their current form the Commission’s draft recommendations ignore the important health and equity gains that could be made from the right kind of climate action. They also do not sufficiently recognise te Tiriti o Waitangi.
OraTaiao submission, 21 June 2020
We oppose the side-stepping of the participatory processes of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The basic purpose of sustainable development in the RMA is not reflected in the Bill, and nor is the major principle of community participation in resource management decisions.
Read full submission here.
Submission guide for the Accessible Streets package of rule changes
There are significant co-benefits for health, climate and equitable access from active transport (biking, walking, wheelchair use, scooting, skating). The Government is seeking public feedback on its “accessible streets” package of rules designed to encourage walking, biking, and support liveable and vibrant towns and cities. However, many of the proposed changes will erode the rights of pedestrians and people with disabilities on the footpath while having minimal impact on the convenience of people in cars. It is time the government addressed providing safe space for cyclists and other “third speed” transport like e-scooters, while protecting the rights and safety of footpath users. This can be achieved by creating safe space for “third speed” transport by reducing vehicle speed limits on roads, bike friendly traffic calming infrastructure and high quality cycle path infrastructure. Deadline for submissions is 5pm Wednesday 20 May.
OraTaiao submission, 6 May 2020
The food system is a major contributor to ill health and many of the environmental challenges facing us nationally and globally. In New Zealand, food production contributes about half of the country’s total climate pollution. Both central and local government have significant parts to play in addressing the urgent transformation that is now needed in the way we produce and consume food. Cities are increasingly recognising this around the world.
OraTaiao submission, 17 January 2020
It is encouraging to see a cap on emissions units, a sinking lid mechanism and the phasing out of industrial allocation of free units incorporated into the draft Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill.
"We remain concerned however about the ongoing delay in integration of agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme, the slow phase down of free units to industry and the lack of a mechanism to recycle revenue from the sale of New Zealand Units to support a low carbon transition for those most likely to be impacted by the changes - low income, Māori and Pacific households."
Read full submission here (PDF). This submission is endorsed by the New Zealand Medical Association, Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa / New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), the Public Health Association of New Zealand, and the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine.
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.