New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index

Monday, November 11th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson

The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to act promptly to upgrade the country’s defences against pandemic threats.

Continue reading

Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research

Thursday, November 7th, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek

Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal access. However, others suggest smoked tobacco should be much less available than is currently the case and propose that only retailers skilled in supporting smoking cessation should sell ENDS. In this blog, we probe concerns about allowing widespread availability of ENDS and related products. We first draw on related research into smoked tobacco products and then discuss findings from our recently published study that questions the wisdom of allowing ENDS to be sold by non-specialist retailers.

Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Goal: The Case is Overwhelmingly Pro for NZ

Thursday, October 31st, 2019 | tedla55p | No Comments

Nick Wilson, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Janet Hoek

In this blog we review the case for the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Goal. We find that this is an ideal health goal given the large health gains, impact on reducing health inequalities, and savings in health costs that will follow from achieving it. Arguments against having such a goal are also considered.

Continue reading

“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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading