Dr John Kerr, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Simon Hales*
Kerr J, Wilson N, Hales S. Air pollution in Aotearoa NZ: Five key ways to reduce the massive health and social costs. Public Health Expert Blog. 21 July 2022. https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/air-pollution-in-aotearoa-nz-five-key-ways-to-reduce-the-massive-health-and-social-costs/
A new study has estimated the surprisingly high level of harm from air pollution. This annual harm includes the premature deaths of more than 3300 adult New Zealanders and more than 13,100 hospital admissions for respiratory illness and heart disease. The annual social costs resulting from this pollution was estimated at $15.6 billion. Fortunately there are many ways to reduce air pollution and we discuss five key ones in this blog. These range from free public transport to reform of the electricity market to lower costs to citizens. Continue reading
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Jones, A/Prof George Thomson
Canada has a number of progressive public policies which can influence health. In this blog we briefly look at 6 potential lessons for NZ in the domains of: (i) responding to climate change; (ii) supporting cycling; (iii) tobacco control; (iv) controls on food marketing directed at children; (v) healthy food guidelines; and (vi) cannabis law reform.
Prof Janet Hoek, Assoc Prof George Thomson, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Caroline Shaw
Currently introduced in four New Zealand cities, Lime electric scooters (e-scooters) have elicited varied responses. Proponents argue they will help reduce traffic density, thus bringing health and environmental benefits, while critics suggest they risk unacceptable overall harm to pedestrians, users themselves, and to taxpayers, who fund treatments for injuries. In this blog, we consider the public health implications of Lime e-scooters, review how policy makers could maximise the potentially desirable outcomes offered by e-scooters while minimising the harms they pose, and consider wider questions regarding allocation of urban space.