Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson, George Thomson
Minister Jenny Salesa announced the Government’s long-awaited Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill on Sunday 23 February. The Bill contains some important provisions as it works to strike a balance between ensuring regulated products are available to smokers wishing to quit, while at the same time minimising uptake by young people. Its proposed extension of prohibitions on advertising and sponsorship from tobacco products to all vaping and smokeless tobacco products, including e-liquids, are important steps. However, there are also opportunities for the Bill to go further to protect young people from vaping uptake. In this blog, we discuss the provisions, as summarised in the Ministry of Health’s Factsheet, and outline important questions that we argue the final Act should address.
Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman
Housing policy is building up to be the key election issue again. In this blog I reflect on the importance of the role of the New Zealand Government in improving access to affordable housing. I look at what the Government been doing to increase quality public housing and to reduce homelessness and why the public housing waiting list is getting longer.
Ruth Cunningham, Charlotte Paul, Andrew Moore
Public health responses to infectious diseases such as COVID-19 require us to draw on our common humanity and be explicit about our values. Recognising this will help us make good decisions in difficult situations so that, for example, the need to impose restrictive measures and to protect ourselves does not conflict with fairness, respect, and neighbourliness. In Aotearoa/NZ, Getting Through Together already provides a statement of shared values which can be used to guide a wide range of responses.
Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker
In this blog we briefly summarise our assessment of the highly uncertain new coronavirus threat. Given its potential to become a severe and prolonged global pandemic, a precautionary response now means activating all components of our pandemic plan, with a particular focus on ‘keep it out’. NZ has many natural and institutional advantages in managing this major health and economic threat. Now is the time for maximum proactivity.
Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson, Louise Delany, Prof Richard Edwards, Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman
The current national measles epidemic in New Zealand is amongst the largest we have experienced in the last 40 years. It can be linked to the problems created by long-term erosion and fragmentation of national public health capacity. Fortunately the present Health and Disability System Review provides an opportunity to describe and build the kind of public health capacity needed to manage measles, pandemics and other population health threats. We argue for consolidating a range of dispersed public health activities into a strong national agency, Public Health Aotearoa, to take responsibility for the multiple public health challenges faced by NZ.