Welcome to the official website of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate & Health Council

NEWS 12 Oct 2015:

Sixteen of NZ's most prestigious health professional organisations are today calling for action on climate change and health, pressing for New Zealand to take urgent action on this critical health issue.

These health groups represent tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, midwives, public health workers, and medical students as well as leading Universities. They are calling on the NZ government, the health sector, and all levels of society to make an urgent transition to a low-emissions NZ, in a way that boosts health and creates a fairer society. Media release here.

The release of the NZ ‘Call for Action' coincides with a global day of action by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the issuing of a their global Consensus Statement ‘Act now to reduce the damaging health impacts of climate change' aimed at the UN global climate negotiations in Paris in December.

The Health Organisations that have signed the NZ 'Call for Action' include:
• OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council
• The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
• The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)
• NZ Nurses Organisation
• Health Promotion Forum of NZ
• Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
• NZ College of Public Health Medicine
• NZ College of Midwives
• Public Health Association of NZ
• Colleges of Nurses Aotearoa NZ
• New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists
• The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
• The University of Otago Division of Health Sciences
• Auckland University Medical Students Association
• Medical Students for Global Awareness
• NZ Medical Students Association

Also, sign the World Health Organization 'Call for urgent action to protect health from climate change'
See Global Climate and Health Alliance 'Our Climate Our Health' campaign here.

NEWS: Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change - Released 23 June 2015

The landmark second Lancet Commission report on Health and Climate Change reconfirms climate change as "the biggest global health threat of the 21st century", but also adds that tackling climate change is "the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century". See more details here.

NEWS: Public Consultation on NZ's post 2020 Climate Target and Contribution to International Climate Agreement

The Minister for Climate Change has announced public consultation on NZ's post-2020 climate change target (INDC). This is the first time in 6 years that the Government has asked NZ'ers what action they want to address climate change. OraTaiao put in a submission, encouraging all members & supporters to also submit & attend local meetings.

BACKGROUND - In December, countries will meet in Paris to establish a critical new climate change agreement. Before Paris, countries are expected to announce their contribution to reducing GHG emissions (INDCs). Nations covering half of the world's emissions have already announced their targets, and it's time for NZ to commit to doing its fair share. Well planned climate action could lead to real health & equity gains now & for our future, where unabated climate change will seriously impact on health, wellbeing, & costs to the health sector in NZ and globally.

OraTaiao submission guide here, OraTaiao's 3 June submission here.

NEWS: Public Consultation a shambles

Media Statement by OraTaiao, NZ Nurses Organisation, Public Health Association, College of Nurses Aotearoa, NZ Medical Students' Association, Medical Students for Global Awareness (Wellington), endorsed by the College of Midwives NZ.
about the scrambled public consultation on the 2020 target, with no counting for Health.

NEWS: Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPPA) - Risks to Climate Action and Public Health

OraTaiao's ongoing concerns with the TPPA are voiced today (28th October 2014) in an article in NZ Doctor Online entitled 'The impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on health: Why an independent, comprehensive health impact assessment is crucial prior to signing' (link to article here). This article is supported by nine other health professional organisations:
    • The NZ Nursing Organisation (NZNO)
    • College of Nurses Aotearoa NZ
    • Smokefree Coalition
    • Medical Students for Global Awareness
    • Alcohol Healthwatch
    • Alcohol Action NZ
    • NZ College of Midwives
    • New Zealand Medical Students' Association
    • Auckland University Medical Students' Association

Further information here

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NEWS: Ten New Zealand health organisations have released a joint ‘Call to Action on Climate Change and Health'. The ten organisations, including national professional bodies for doctors, nurses, midwives and medical students, say they recognise climate change as an increasingly serious and urgent threat to health and fairness in New Zealand and worldwide. In contrast, they point to specific policy responses that provide exciting opportunities to improve health and create a fairer society.

The Call to Action was highlighted in a NZ Medical Journal Editorial published on 26 September, 2014.

Read more

About us

OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council comprises senior doctors and other health professionals in Aotearoa/New Zealand concerned about the effects of climate change on population health.
We are part of a worldwide movement of health professional authorities urgently focusing on the health challenges and opportunities of climate change.

The name ‘OraTaiao' connects the Māori concepts ‘Ora' and ‘Taiao'. ‘Ora' means to be alive, well, safe, cured, recovered, healthy. ‘Taiao' can be translated as world, Earth, environment, nature, country.
We emphasise science and evidence-based policies for health, equity and community resilience.

The Council is a not-for-profit, politically non-partisan incorporated society, with a growing membership and support across the New Zealand health sector.

More about the Council can be found in our Policy Statement and in our Constitution (click on the .pdf icons below).

The Council has also co-signed the Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Wellbeing of December 2012 (http://dohadeclaration.weebly.com/), which reflects an international perspective.

OraTaiao's members can be anyone who subscribes to the principles of the Council and who holds positions or qualifications in medicine, public health, nursing and other health disciplines.

We also have student members (students in the above professions who support the principles of The Council) and associate members (anyone who supports The Council's principles).
OraTaiao has a Partner Association with Medical Students for Global Awareness (MSGA) and is signatory to the Climate and Health Council pledge (www.climateandhealth.org).

We invite doctors, other health professionals, students and others to join us.

Key documents

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