Prof Nick Wilson*, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker
With the 2020 election over and with a newly elected government, it is an excellent time for a systematic review by NZ health authorities to identify optimal methods for reducing the risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks in Aotearoa/NZ. The persisting occurrence of cross-border incursions of the pandemic virus (five since 1 August, including a large outbreak in Auckland) highlights the need for such a review. In this blog we provide a framework for this systematic assessment and specific ideas for further risk reduction.
This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by new international law.
Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Prof Nick Wilson
Approximately 5.5% of NZ adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. In this blog we summarise our recent modelling work that suggests that further investment in interventions of proven effectiveness to prevent type 2 diabetes could substantially benefit health, reduce health inequalities, and save billions in health sector costs for NZ.
Janet Hoek, Lindsay Robertson, Jude Ball, Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa
On August 11 2020, the NZ Parliament passed legislation that extends existing regulation of tobacco and herbal smoking products to vaping products (or electronic nicotine delivery systems [ENDS] and heated tobacco products (HTPs]. The new Act represents an important step in managing access to ENDS and HTPs, and regulating how these are marketed. In this blog, we summarise some of the Act’s key provisions before exploring how the regulations, still to be made available for consultation, could further strengthen the Act’s ability to protect young people. We also consider how other countries considering similar legislation could extend the approach taken in NZ.
Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker
In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks in NZ’s largest cities with large health and economic impacts. The main disadvantage would be reduced numbers of returnees that could be allowed back into NZ, with these returnees assisting with economic recovery. There is therefore a need for an integrated health and economic analysis with the NZ Government being explicit about its decision-making.