• Submission on the revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024)

    The revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024) is a throwback to a mid-20th century mentality in which the car is king and other modes are neglected to the point of death. It represents an absolute failure from the government to protect New Zealander’s futures. In short, from a health, equity and climate perspective, it is an utter disaster which represents an assault on the health and wellbeing of the people of New Zealand. 

    OraTaiao's full submission to Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport), prepared by Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here.

  • Letter to the Mayor of Auckland on safer pedestrian crossings

    Uncertainty about the future of safe and healthy transport options in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has increased since the election. Opportunities for formal submissions have been restricted, as consultation on transport funding and priorities has been replaced by edicts from agencies and politicians such Waka Kotahi, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown.

    Regarding work to create safer pedestrian crossings in the city, negative comments from both the Transport Minister and the Mayor have cited an article in the NZ Herald which contained inaccuracies and was later corrected

    In the absence of a consultation request, OraTaiao has taken the step of writing to the Mayor to provide accurate information about raised pedestrian crossings. Our letter from Co-convenors Dr Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright is available here

  • Submission on the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024)

    New Zealand's current commitment to cut gross domestic emissions is a mere fraction of what’s needed from us, pressure to cut all gases much faster is highly likely, and New Zealand simply can’t afford to shield any sector from reality. The easiest path for the transport sector is for GPS2024 to rapidly eliminate climate pollution and ensure the infrastructure needed for net zero much closer to 2030 than 2050, with negative emissions soon after. 

    ‘Rapidly reducing emissions’ must be the top strategic priority in GPS2024. The second strategic priority is ensuring ‘resilience’. The third strategic priority is ‘health and safety’, as the transport sector has a big influence on the health of New Zealanders. 

    The other three priorities must be considered in the context of increasingly constrained capacity to emit, while ensuring Tiriti o Waitangi, justice, inclusive and equitable access are cross-cutting themes across all six strategic priorities. 

    ‘Rapidly reducing emissions’ which OraTaiao expects must be the top strategic priority in GPS2024, means a major shift in funding across activity classes and years, to frontload investment in public transport, cycling and walking activity classes. This is the chance to accelerate the necessary shift from predominantly privately owned vehicle transport, to shared transport, walking and cycling.

    OraTaiao's full submission to Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport), prepared by Liz Springford, Dr Scott Metcalfe, Dr James Hamill and Summer Wright, is available here

    Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash


  • "Price agricultural climate pollution fast, well, and right now" – Submission to the Ministry for the Environment

    The Government proposes the deferral of farm-level agricultural emissions reporting and pricing by two years, from 1 January 2024 to 1 January 2026.

    OraTaiao is strongly opposed. 

    We understand that the challenge posed by the climate crisis is to slow, then stop, then remove the flow of dangerous gases thickening the blanket of climate pollution overheating our world. Just like the human body, our planet has a very limited average temperature range where climate conditions are stable and we humans can thrive. Every tenth of a degree of overheating increases risks of tipping points and irrevocable harm.

    As New Zealanders can already see from Cyclone Gabrielle and the Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland floods, we cannot afford a destabilising global climate. What's more, current Government commitments to cut gross domestic emissions are a mere fraction of what’s needed from us. Pressure to cut all gases much faster is highly likely, and New Zealand simply can’t afford to continue subsidising and shielding the agriculture sector from reality either.

    Pricing the mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emitted by the sector is essential to drive the deep cuts in our gross emissions that are needed to meet our domestic and international obligations.

    We therefore strongly urge that basic farm-level agricultural emissions reporting starts from 1 January 2024 as per the Climate Change Response Act backstop provision - albeit with a small legislative change to use the definition by He Waka Eke Noa - Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership (26,000 farms covering 96% of agricultural emissions). 

    Our full submission to the Ministry for the Environment Manatū Mō Te Taiao, produced by Liz Springford and Dr Scott Metcalfe based on OraTaiao’s 2030 vision for Aotearoa’s transformed food sector and lands, is available here

  • "Either radically transform the NZ ETS, or dismantle it" – Submission to the Ministry for the Environment

    OraTaiao has called on the Government to either radically transform NZ’s Emissions Trading Scheme, or end it. See our submission to the Government’s review.

  • Enhancing the resilience of Aotearoa NZ's critical infrastructure – Submission to DPMC

    Critical infrastructure provides essential services to people across Aotearoa and it must be able to to absorb shocks, recover from disruptions and adapt to changing conditions. Critical infrastructure is often thought of as energy supply, telecommunications, water, food, financial services and roads. 

    OraTaiao's feedback to the discussion document on enhancing its resilience emphasises that the health system – especially primary care – deserves particular attention. In addition, critical infrastructure protection and enhancement, if designed well, can offer significant health gains through developing resilient active and public transport systems, enhancing the “health” of buildings, and protecting food production. And Aotearoa’s approach to enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure must be fully enmeshed in our mitigation efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

    Our submission on these issues to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, prepared by OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here

  • E-scooters don't belong on footpaths – Submission to Waka Kotahi

    Waka Kotahi declared in 2018 that e-scooters were not designated to be a motor vehicle. This temporary declaration has allowed them to be used and parked on footpaths. OraTaiao strongly recommends that an extension to E-scooter (Declaration Not to be Motor Vehicles) Notice 2018 should not be provided at the present time, for three main reasons.

    The speed differential between pedestrians and footpath users creates a hazard for both pedestrians and e-scooter users. An additional hazard is created by the random depositing of shared e-scooters on footpaths and within cycleways. This is a particularly important risk for disabled and blind pedestrians. Although e-scooters should give an additional option for mode shift away from unhealthy forms of transport such as private car use, at present the evidence is that the mode-shift comes from healthier forms of transport than e-scooters, especially walking.

    Our submission, prepared by OraTaiao Co-convenor Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here

  • Submission on the 2023 Draft Advice to Inform the Government’s Second Emissions Reduction Plan

    OraTaiao has made a submission on the Climate Change Commission’s draft advice to Government about the second emissions reduction plan. 

    OraTaiao commends the Commission in offering better recognition of the health co-benefits of climate action and the increased discussion of this throughout the draft advice. Maximising health co-benefits from well-designed climate action centred on human health, could give a shared and unifying focus for building greater government and public support within Aotearoa.

    OraTaiao strongly agrees with the Commission that “Ultimately, a fair, inclusive, and equitable transition means pursuing in parallel issues of social and economic equity and tackling climate change.”

    OraTaiao urges a co-governance approach for Aotearoa so that Māori may co-lead the journey to a sustainable future for all. Ensuring Māori have rangatiratanga over the integration of mātauranga Māori into policy design, development, and implementation at central and local government level, is essential. 

    We also make specific recommendations on a wide range of issues, including Emissions Trading Scheme settings, pricing of agricultural emissions at the same rates rates as other industries, the over-reliance on forestry for carbon removals, introducing a Carbon Border Mechanism, integrating walkways, cycleways, generous car share and easy public transport access in urban areas, reducing aviation emissions, retrofitting of all rental housing well before 2030, prioritising and widely promoting more ambitious gross emissions reductions, a just transition to public and locally-owned, nature-friendly, renewable electricity and ending all new oil, gas and coal exploration and extraction on land and at sea.

    Our full submission, prepared by lead author Liz Springford with support from Dr Scott Metcalfe, Dr Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright, is available here. 

  • Submission on Waka Kotahi Cycling Action Plan

    OraTaiao has made a submission on the Waka Kotahi Cycling Action Plan. Overall, we believe the Plan is excellent and we strongly endorse it. We do however make additional recommendations around urgency, co-governance, a systems approach, funding, guidance for local government, road renewals, grassroots involvement, equity, e-bikes, cycle path maintenance, intersections and roundabouts, car sharing and land use.

    To read our submission, prepared by Dr James Hamill, Liz Springford and Dr Matt Jenks, click on the headline above.

  • Free Fares Coalition Submits Petition to "Keep Half Price Fares for Everyone, for Good!"

    The Aotearoa Collective for Public Transport Equity submitted our petition to keep half prices fares for all to the petitions committee on Thursday 11th May. 
    OraTaiao Executive Board member and Occupational Therapist Romelli Rodriguez-Jolly spoke in support - "Half price fares are a public health intervention".

    See the petition here: