We are delighted to announce the recipients of the PHA 2018 awards.
Public Health Champions 2018
Mary-Ann McKibben and Keith Reid are this year's recipients. This award is in acknowledgement and recognition of their championing of public health in Dunedin/Ōtepoti over many years & for their valiant and successful efforts to highlight the inappropriateness of the Southern DHB allowing a corporate branded, charity-funded parents’ facility at Dunedin Hospital. Following Mary-Ann and Keith's leadership on this issue Southern DHB was prompted to develop a clear sponsorship policy and there was much greater awareness of the public health perspective among the wider public and the DHB.
Tū Rangatira mō te Ora Award 2018
This year the award went to Te Mata Rangatira-Hauraki Rangatahi Roopu. This organisation is focused on empowering a new generation of rangatahi leaders in the Hauraki area. They develop programmes to promote collective well being & development based on Haurakitanga.
Me he koteo mau kupenga
Like the post to which the net is attached
(Applied to the leader whose influence can mould the group into a cohesive unit.)
Congratulations to our 2018 champions.
We are delighted to announce that PHA members voted at last week's AGM to ratify our policy statement on UVR Protection. This statement was written by Bronwen McNoe and Associate Professor Tony Reeder of the Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, University of Otago, Otago. We are very grateful to Bronwen and Tony for volunteering to write this policy statement on what is an extremely significant public health issue.
At our Annual General Meeting (AGM) we will farewell our Chief Executive Warren Lindberg and we will also be saying goodbye to a key staff member, Leona Head.
The Executive Council wants to assure you that during this transition phase we have made arrangements to ensure as much as possible that it's business as usual. We are committed to supporting the remaining national office staff at this time. With this in mind, please be considerate in your requests and interactions with national office.
RECRUITMENT OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE:
Important dates to look out for or share with those interested in this position and working in Wellington:
10 October, advertising opens for the Chief Executive position.
Applications close 24 October
The recruitment will then undergo the usual processes. We will keep you posted and let you know when we have found a successful applicant. We expect the new CE to then start recruiting for the vacancies in National Office to rebuild the team to full capacity in alignment with our strategic direction. Exciting times ahead!
The Executive Council recently held elections and the results will be announced at the AGM. We hope to see you at there to join us in thanking Warren for his huge contribution to the PHA.
If you have any questions or concerns during this transitional phase, please don’t hesitate to contact me in the first instance, either by email or phone.
Click to see the latest 2018-2020 Strategic Direction.
nā Lee Tutuki Te Wharau
President Public Health Association of New Zealand
+64 21 056 4997
Ō Tātou Kaha, Ō Tātou Pae Ora
Valuing Connections, Connecting Values.
OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council
27 September 2018
OraTaiao welcomes the government’s amendment bill to stop offering new oil permits as a sound decision for NZ’s economy and our health. This bill is a step in the right direction to protect the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders and meet our Paris obligations.
“It’s very clear that almost all the oil, gas and coal we already know about needs to stay in the ground - they can’t be burnt because of the implications for climate change and human health. This makes further exploration foolish,” said Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council after the introduction of the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill on Monday.
“The recent Regulatory Impact Statement completed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment makes the mistake of assuming that any reserves which might be found can be commercialised. However, many leading global investors agree that any new reserves will be worthless “stranded assets” - leaving the government and investors with debts, not profits.
Neither does MBIE’s statement account for the cost to human health and wellbeing caused by the continuing use of fossil fuels, or our failure to support fossil-fuel dependent communities to make a transition to a low-carbon economies. Continued exploration and extraction means leaving these communities high and dry in a world that is rapidly moving away from fossil fuels.
We need to get on track to zero emissions by 2040 in order to avert a health crisis. The next steps include a rapid phase out of existing off- and on-shore exploration and extraction to protect and promote health in our zero-carbon future.
Representatives of millions of health professionals and thousands of hospitals from around the world call on local, national and global policymakers to act now for healthy people on a healthy planet
SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 12, 2018 – Today dozens of leading health organizations representing more than five million doctors, nurses and public health professionals, and 17,000 hospitals, in more than 120 countries announced commitments and unveiled a Call to Action on Climate and Health aimed at accelerating stronger advocacy and action in addressing climate change—the greatest health threat of the 21st century. The commitments were made as part of the Global Climate and Health Forum at the University of California, San Francisco, an affiliate event to the Global Climate Action Summit.
The commitments announced at the Forum include efforts by hospitals, doctors, nurses and health professionals to take meaningful action to protect public health from climate change. Among these were more than 176 health care institutions representing 17,000 hospitals and health centers in 26 countries that are committing to reduce their carbon emissions by more than 16 million metric tons a year— the equivalent of shutting down four coal fired power plants.
More than 1,200 of these hospitals in both developed and developing countries are also committing to use only 100 percent renewable electricity to power health. More than 200 nurses in 22 states in the U.S. have committed to the Nurses Climate Challenge, launching a movement committed to educating their peers and forging climate solutions in care settings and in the community. And 24 major health organizations across the United States have joined the We Are Still In (WASI) coalition, adding a health voice to the message that the United States is still committed to the Paris Agreement.
“Every breath matters and we all have an inalienable right to life on a healthy planet. It’s absolutely critical that the health sector’s voice and perspective on climate action is heard loud and clear by the public and at all levels of government.” said Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and convener of Mission2020.
The Call to Action is endorsed by over 50 organizations from across the globe, including the World Federation of Public Health Associations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, the International Federation of Medical Students Associations, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente and the American Lung Association. It outlines 10 priority actions that will significantly protect lives and improve people’s health in the era of climate change:
1. Meet and strengthen the commitments under the Paris Agreement.
2. Transition away from the use of coal, oil and natural gas to clean, safe and renewable energy.
3. Transition to zero-carbon transportation systems with an emphasis on active transportation.
4. Build local, healthy and sustainable food and agricultural systems.
5. Invest in policies that support a just transition for workers and communities adversely impacted by the
move to a low-carbon economy.
6. Ensure that gender equality is central to climate action.
7. Raise the health sector voice in the call for climate action.
8. Incorporate climate solutions into all health care and public health systems.
9. Build resilient communities in the face of climate change.
10. Invest in climate and health.
Climate change threatens to undo decades of health and development gains. Extreme heat and weather events caused thousands of deaths and displaced over 200 million people between 2008 and 2015; air pollution, whose primary driver—fossil fuel combustion—is also the primary driver of climate change, caused over 7 million deaths in 2016; vector-borne diseases are spreading to new communities; the agricultural, food, and water systems we depend on for our survival are under threat; and the frequency and severity of droughts, floods, and fires are increasing.
Climate action in the energy, transportation, land use, agricultural and other sectors would avoid millions of preventable deaths each year. Shifting to renewable energy, sustainable food production and diets, active transportation and green cities will lower climate pollution and reduce the incidence of communicable and non-communicable disease, improve mental health, and bring significant health care cost savings.
“Climate change is the greatest health threat and opportunity of the 21st century and the health sector must lead the way to call on local, national and global policymakers to act now to significantly reduce climate pollution and build climate resilience,” said Dr. Maria Neira, director, Department of Public Health, Environment, and Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization. “With the right policies and investments today, we have the opportunity to realize our vision of healthy people in healthy places on a healthy planet.”
Today’s announcements were made as part of the Global Climate and Health Forum, focused on building the capacity of the global health response to climate change by strengthening collaboration across all health sector stakeholders, raising the health voice for climate action and mobilizing health sector commitments to climate change solutions. The one-day forum featured prominent speakers from United Nations organizations, climate and health NGOs, health organizations, government and the private sector.
The Global Climate and Health Forum was hosted by Health Care Without Harm, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Global Health Group, the U.S. Climate and Health Alliance and the Global Climate and Health Alliance. The event was sponsored by Dignity Health, Glaser Progress Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Wellcome Trust, United Nations Development Programme, The Kresge Foundation, The California Endowment, American Public Health Association, Public Health Institute and the American Lung Association. The Forum was organized in collaboration with the World Health Organization.
To read the full version of this media release, please click HERE
The PHA is one of several organisations to endorse a submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) Amendment Bill 2018 calling for an amendment to stop the spread of investor state dispute settlements (ISDS). You can read the full statement here
The PHA is one of a number of organisations who released a joint statement outlining the benefits of updating the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act (BDMRRA) 1995.
Today’s announced changes to the process for amending gender markers on birth certifciates are welcomed by takatāpui, trans and non-binary people.
“This small but significant change will make it fairer for those in our communities, who do not have the resources to use the existing Family Court process,” said Sally Dellow.
Ms Dellow was speaking on behalf of people and organisations who released a joint statement today outlining the benefits of updating the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act (BDMRRA) 1995.
New Zealand’s passports and driver licence processes are recognised as international good practice for trans and non-binary people. Proposals announced today would introduce similar processes for updating gender markers on a New Zealand birth certificate. New Zealand will join a dozen other countries that already follow such a self-declaration approach.
“Most people in our communities can change their New Zealand passport or driver licence, but it does not match their birth certificate. That can cause significant problems when a birth certificate needs to be shown as proof of identity,” said Ms Dellow.
Today’s joint statement is supported by takatāpui, trans and non-binary people and organisations, parents of transgender and gender diverse children; national health, women’s and Rainbow organisations; legal and health academics, and former Human Rights Commissioners. It calls for the 23-year-old BDMRRA to be amended to reflect the current passports policy, by:
- replacing a Family Court application with a statutory declaration process that enables a people to affirm their self-defined gender identity
- removing any other eligibility requirements, such as the need for medical evidence and
- enabling gender markers to be recognised as male, female, or as a third, non-binary gender.
“We are delighted that the Select Committee’s recommendations reflect this approach,” said Ms Dellow. “This makes a huge difference to takatāpui, trans and non-binary people when they get married, have children, sign their parent’s death certificate, or have to show their birth certificate. It has no impact on the equivalent rights for other people.”
Moving to a simple, administrative process will reduce cost for takatāpui, trans and non-binary people, and free up the time of Family Court staff, judges, and of health professionals who have supplied the required medical evidence.
Ms Dellow said, “We hope to continue dialogue with the government on how to provide some form of identity verification document that recognises and protects refugees, asylum seekers, and new migrants who cannot amend documents in their home country and are not permanent residents here.”
“In addition, there is a need for ongoing consultation with our communities in case there are ways the Bill can be improved through its second reading.”
The Select Committee has recommended that any enacted changes are reviewed after five years. “International human rights standards and good practice are evolving fast in this area,” said Ms Dellow. “A two-year review would help New Zealand keep pace with change, so we can continue to demonstrate what it means to fully respect the dignity, equality, and security of all who live here. Our communities expect to be consulted as part of such a review.”
Health risks of “Hothouse Earth” a disaster
A report released this week on the dangers of heading towards “Hothouse Earth” makes it clear that climate change is now a public health emergency.
“Just as we would react to the threat of pandemic, we need to speed up our efforts to tackle emissions and protect health,” says Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor of OraTaio: The NZ Climate and Health Council.
The report, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, states, “the Earth System may be approaching a planetary threshold that could lock in a continuing, rapid pathway towards much hotter conditions — Hothouse Earth.”
“We can’t afford to cross these thresholds into a Hothouse Earth,” says Dr Jones. “A Hothouse Earth would pose impossible risks to our health system and the wellbeing of people everywhere.”
“As health professionals, we urge the government to make stronger and more immediate targets to ensure New Zealand’s emissions decrease to net zero by 2040. We must base our decisions on climate science to make sure we do not breach dangerous tipping points. In order for us to safely reach zero emissions by 2040, much of the action is needed in the next crucial five to ten years.”
“The measures we take to reduce New Zealand's contribution to global warming can directly benefit the health of all New Zealanders. Well-designed climate action can bring about reductions in cardiovascular and respiratory disease, cancers, obesity, food insecurity and child poverty, as well as easing the financial pressures on the health sector.”
“The health risks of a Hothouse Earth mean that we must treat climate change as a public health emergency,” says Dr Jones.
Media Spokesperson: Dr Rhys Jones, 021 411 743
Dr Rhys Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) (email@example.com) is a Public Health Physician and Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, and Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council.
OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council is an organisation of health professionals concerned with climate change as a serious public health threat. The Council also promotes the positive health gains that can be achieved through action to address climate change. See: www.orataiao.org.nz
About Climate Change and Health Information is available in the following paper from the 2014 NZ Medical Journal:
‘Health and equity impacts of climate change in Aotearoa-New Zealand, and health gains from climate action’. http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2014/vol-127-no-1406/6366
Health threats from climate changes include: worsening illness and injury from heat and other extreme weather, changing patterns of infection including food poisoning, loss of seafood and farming livelihoods, food price rises and mass migration from the Pacific. Those on low incomes, Māori, Pacific people, children and older people will be hit first and hardest, but nobody will be immune to the widespread health and social threats of unchecked climate change. Direct and indirect climate change impacts are already being seen here from warming oceans and sea level rise.
Health opportunities from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, easing pressure on health budgets include: rapidly phasing out coal; switching from car trips to more walking, cycling and public transport; healthier diets lower in red meat and dairy; and energy efficient, warm homes will all cut emissions while also reducing the diseases that kill New Zealanders most and put our children in hospital – cancer, heart disease, lung diseases and car crash injuries.
Māori sexual and reproductive health promotion organisation Te Whāriki Takapou is highly critical of the decision by ACC to spend $18.4m on the ‘Mates and Dates’ programme rather than invest in culturally appropriate teacher-led sexuality education in schools.
Sexual violence, like so many forms of violence experienced by Māori, will not be reduced by programmes like Mates and Dates. The programme is unconnected to the realities of Māori and fails to draw on the wealth of historical and contemporary Māori knowledges and practices associated with healthy relationships.
What is required is an evidence-based national plan for culturally appropriate comprehensive sexuality education that includes consent and sexual violence. There are programmes underway in some schools where teachers are already addressing consent and sexual violence as part of comprehensive sexuality education. However, the road block to rolling out a national plan and programmes across all schools, including Māori-medium schools, is the lack of specific policy, funding and the political ‘will’ to lead the charge.
Political will may change given increasing international attention. This month the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international treaty ratified by New Zealand in 1985, released its report on the government’s progress to eliminate discrimination against women. The report noted the high level of gender-based violence in New Zealand, especially domestic and sexual violence and very low levels of reporting of violence within Māori communities where only 20% of family violence and 9% of sexual violence is reported.
The report also highlighted the lack of culturally appropriate approaches and distrust in public authorities that prevent Māori and other ethnic minority women from seeking protection from domestic and sexual violence.
Dedicated Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health funding for sexuality education programmes, resources and professional development for teachers is a national disgrace.
Māori organisations like Te Whāriki Takapou spend around $100,000 per annum, almost half their contract, to research and produce evidence-based eight session programmes for teachers to freely download and deliver to students attending Māori-medium schools. These programmes use Māori knowledge and practices to support teachers to teach sexuality education and sexual violence prevention in culturally appropriate ways. The decision by government to spend $18.4m on the Mates and Dates programme and not redirect these funds to teacher-led comprehensive sexuality education is not justicable.
Te Whāriki Takapou supports the position that consent and sexual violence prevention is best taught by well-resourced and supported classroom teachers as part of culturally appropriate sexuality education.
Māori students benefit from sexual violence prevention programmes that are part of a well-resourced national cross-sectoral plan developed with Māori. Where Māori-medium schools are concerned, these programmes should be underpinned by Māori knowledges and practices.
Mates and Dates does not meet these criteria and despite funds of $18.4m, will not prevent sexual violence experienced by Māori students.
Te Whāriki Takapou – Alison Green, Chief Executive (MOB: 02102784821)
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