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Addressing the structural and commercial determinants of health

18 Mar 2022 5:51 PM | Anonymous

The National Public Health Advocacy Team was established by DHB Chairs and Chief Executives at the beginning of 2020 to address the structural and commercial determinants of health – specifically relating to alcohol-related harm, obesity, and smoking – in order to keep people well and reduce the burden on our health service, help eliminate health inequities, and make it easier for New Zealanders to live longer and healthier lives. 

Our small team utilise strategic communications to secure public and cross-party support for a more assertive national policy along with smart regulation and legislation. Our priorities for 2021/22 are:

  • Advocate to central government for evidence-based policies to reduce obesity and support healthy food environments
  • Develop and implement a campaign to review and strengthen the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
  • Support DHBs to achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Goal

The prevalence of smoking, obesity and alcohol-related harm are significantly higher amongst Māori and Pacific than the rest of the population and are major drivers of inequities. The Crown’s failure to protect Maori from preventable disease is also a breach of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as set out in the Wai 2575 claim and other Waitangi tribunal claims such as Wai 2624 in relation to alcohol.

The National Public Health Advocacy Team invites feedback from PHA members and would welcome a collaborative approach. We are particularly interested in hearing from the Māori caucus to see if the mahi we are focussed on is one that you are supportive of. 

- Dr Rob Beaglehole

The Public Health of Associaion of NZ – a strong and informed collective voice for a healthy and well New Zealand.

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