“Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected

Sunday, October 27th, 2019 | Nick Wilson | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker

The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big ticket items to include in an integrated strategy to improve our waterways: a fertiliser tax, taxing ruminant animal products, and promoting the right sort of reforestation with a high carbon price.

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Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case

Thursday, October 17th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker

Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural importance and food security); (5) facilitating safe recreational water use; (6) minimising flooding risks from silted up waterways; and (7) protecting renewable energy from waterway sediments. In this blog we briefly consider these issues and why health workers and agencies should now do submissions on protecting waterways to the Ministry for the Environment, as part of a current consultation process which ends on 31 October.

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Not forgetting the benefits to youth and non-smokers – an example from increases in tobacco taxes

Monday, September 9th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Prof Janet Hoek

Tobacco control’s focus on supporting smokers to quit, thus reducing the harm they face (eg, via appropriately regulated access to e-cigarettes) remains important. However, we need to do more to protect youth and non-smokers from the burden of tobacco. In this blog we use the issue of tobacco tax increases to show the potentially large benefits to youth and non-smokers – as well as to smokers who quit. Policy-makers need to take a broad view of how tobacco control policies impact on society so that progress to the country’s Smokefree 2025 goal is accelerated.

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Reducing waiting times for cataract surgery is good value-for-money for falls prevention

Friday, August 30th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Nick Wilson, Matt Boyd, Adeline Kho, Graham Wilson

In an article published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today, we discuss our recent modelling work on expediting cataract surgery in NZ. In this blog we summarise the key findings and make comparisons with other falls prevention interventions.

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Meat, Health, Hospitals, and Sustainability*

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof John Potter**

Achieving healthier diets that are also sustainable is increasingly in the news. In this blog, I look at the case for reducing the amount of meat in hospital meals and gently remind our dietitian colleagues not to let their dietary advice get out of date.

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