Prof Janet Hoek, Assoc Prof George Thomson, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Caroline Shaw
Currently introduced in four New Zealand cities, Lime electric scooters (e-scooters) have elicited varied responses. Proponents argue they will help reduce traffic density, thus bringing health and environmental benefits, while critics suggest they risk unacceptable overall harm to pedestrians, users themselves, and to taxpayers, who fund treatments for injuries. In this blog, we consider the public health implications of Lime e-scooters, review how policy makers could maximise the potentially desirable outcomes offered by e-scooters while minimising the harms they pose, and consider wider questions regarding allocation of urban space.
Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek, Anaru Waa – ASPIRE 2025 and University of Otago
This blog comments on the Ernst and Young (EY) report to the Ministry of Health, which evaluated tobacco excise tax increases as a strategy for achieving the Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal . The report’s recommendations, including continuing annual tax excise increases (conditional on positive impacts demonstrated in enhanced monitoring) and implementing comprehensive and multi-faceted complementary measures, are highly consistent with those made in the NZ tobacco control sector’s Achieving Smokefree Aotearoa Plan (ASAP) launched a year previously . The report strengthens the overwhelming case for implementing a Government-led, comprehensive strategy to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal equitably for all peoples in Aotearoa.
Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Andrea Teng, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson
Reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is an important current policy issue internationally. One suggested strategy is for people to swap to artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs). But there are multiple concerns about potential health risks of ASBs – although limited evidence and hard data. This blog seeks to briefly summarise current evidence, to inform the public, public health practitioners and policy makers.
Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Ramona Tiatia
Today is the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Talune in Western Samoa. This single ship spread the influenza pandemic from NZ to Western Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Thanks to the Rt Hon Helen Clark, there has been an official apology to Samoa for NZ’s negligent role in this disaster. In this blog we reflect on this event and consider NZ’s current responsibilities in helping its Pacific neighbours with infectious disease surveillance and pandemic control.
Nick Wilson, George Thomson, Jennifer A Summers, Glyn Harper, Evan Roberts
This blog summarises our just published article on the mortality and morbidity impacts of the First World War on the NZ population. While much is known about the large health burden of this conflict (especially for the direct participants), there are still various knowledge gaps eg, for the health impacts on the home front. The ongoing digitalisation of all the military files and key data abstracted from them should make it easier for researchers to fill these knowledge gaps in coming years.