Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Caroline Shaw, A/Prof Ralph Chapman, Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman
The health organisation OraTaiao convened a group of experts to analyse the climate change policies of NZ political party policies. It gave the highest grade to the Green Party, then the Labour Party, and then The Opportunities Party (TOP). This blog takes a supplementary approach, looking at actual climate related actions taken in the last Parliamentary term (since late 2014). It suggests that relative to its power in the Parliament, the Green Party has done the best. The National Party has an overall poor performance grading – given the many opportunities it has had in Government.
Nick Wilson, Ben Schrader, Geoff Rice, Christine Clement, George Thomson, Catharine Ferguson, Michael Baker
Some statues are getting bad press at present – and rightly so for the confederate military statues which represent the racist history of the Southern United States. But in this blog we briefly look at a particular New Zealand statue that we think characterises some of the best aspects of public monuments: the statue of Dr Margaret Cruickshank who died caring for patients during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Continue reading
Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely, Chris Cunningham, Frederieke Sanne van der Deen, Zoe Hawke, Janet Hoek, Shayne Nahu, George Thomson, Louise Thornley, Anaru Waa, Nick Wilson, Stephanie Erick
A new Action Plan was launched by one of New Zealand’s great tobacco control champions – Dame Tariana Turia – at Parliament on August 2. This blog describes the Plan’s key features and the rationale for the proposed measures.
Prof Alistair Woodward*, A/Prof Andrea t’Mannetje**, Dr Dave McLean**, Prof Jeroen Douwes**, Prof John D Potter** (*Auckland and **Massey Universities)
Last year the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) chose not to accept the assessment of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that the herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient in “Roundup”) was a “probable carcinogen”. Instead the EPA commissioned its own report which found that glyphosate is “unlikely to be genotoxic or carcinogenic”, a significant departure from IARC’s conclusion. An investigation by the Green MP Stefan Browning released two weeks ago raises serious questions about the process followed by the EPA. The controversy has been given fresh life by comments made by the Chief Scientist for the Authority, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth. Her attempt to justify what happened gives a muddled account of risk assessment, and misrepresents her own Authority’s publication. In this blog, we explain why it is important to understand the issues raised by the EPA pronouncements on glyphosate and the potential implications for chemical safety more generally. This is now particularly important as the EPA is about to undertake an expanded review of hazardous substances in New Zealand.
Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere, Professor Boyd Swinburn
A panel of 71 independent and government experts have undertaken an evaluation of New Zealand Government food environment policies, compared to international best practice. This is the second such evaluation, the first being in 2014. In this blog we summarise the findings. There are some areas where New Zealand is at the level of best practice and there are some areas where there is progress compared to 2014. However, there remain major implementation gaps, especially for policies to improve the healthiness of food environments, to catch up with other nations globally in tackling the child obesity crisis.