Dairy and Environment – Report lays bare the dire consequences of Govt’s lax approach to dairying – Greenpeace

Source: Greenpeace
A Ministry for the Environment report released today shows the widespread scale of destruction caused by intensive dairying, says Greenpeace.
The report, Our Land 2021, details the decline of soil and freshwater health, and examines the climate and human health impacts of industrial farming activities.
Greenpeace campaigner Amanda Larsson says the report only affirms what many New Zealanders can see happening around them, as rivers grow sludgy with algae and cows stand knee-deep in mud.
“Most New Zealanders want clean water to drink, clear rivers to swim in, land that is healthy and brimming with wildlife. And they expect the Government to do what is necessary to protect our health and natural heritage,” says Larsson.
“But this report lays bare that the Government hasn’t been doing its job. It’s telling us that nature is in crisis, thanks to intensive dairying and a Government too timid to bring in proper rules to limit pollution from the dairy industry.”
Larsson says the report reads like a laundry list of the devastating environmental impacts of intensive dairying: from degraded soils barely able to support New Zealand’s 6.5 million cows, to plumes of greenhouse gases from those cows, to nitrate-nitrogen pollution washing off farms into drinking water.
“We’re all paying the price in terms of our health and that of future generations. The Ministry for the Environment’s report today should be a kick in the pants for our Government to face up to the consequences of their lax approach to the dairy industry, and start turning things around,” says Larsson.
“That means phasing out the use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, limiting cow numbers to what the land can handle, and supporting farmers to make the shift to regenerative and organic farming.”
The report showed that intensive management of soil, including practices found on dairy farms, has negative effects on soil biodiversity.
“Soil health is critical to our health and the health of the climate. Degraded soil is less able to absorb carbon and less resilient to shocks from droughts and floods,” says Larsson.
“Not only is intensive dairying a huge climate polluter, it’s hampering our ability to respond to the climate crisis as it happens.”
Regenerative farming places a priority on building soil health through reducing inputs like synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, planting diverse crops, using rotational grazing systems and reducing soil tillage.
Larsson says, “We know that there are hundreds of farmers across the country already adopting methods that build soil health and create thriving ecosystems. With proper Government backing and the support of their communities, many more farmers could shift to regenerative organic farming.
“Imagine a New Zealand where farming can clean up our rivers, tackle the climate crisis and make sure everyone has fresh, healthy food. That’s what real ambition looks like – not endlessly churning out low-value milk powder while wrecking the land and water.”

Fish and Game – Mallard harvest looks promising for Otago hunters

Source: Fish and Game NZ
Duck hunters in Otago can look forward to an above-average season this year if the weather plays it part.
This year’s mallard monitoring results were 10% above the average count since 2015, Otago Fish & Game officer Bruce Quirey said.
“Rivers and other permanent bodies of water are likely to offer the best shooting for mallards due to dry conditions, unless there is substantial rain before opening weekend on May 1,” Mr Quirey said.
Otago Fish & Game conducted an aerial survey last week across parts of the Taieri, Clutha and Pomahaka.
Mallard monitoring is a trend count and results can be affected by many variables, such as water levels and weather, on the day.
Some parts of Otago are very dry and there are variances between areas across the region.
River transects had more ducks on them this year than usual, Mr Quirey said.
“Parts of the Clutha and Pomahaka rivers had some of the highest recorded concentrations of ducks since 2015.
“One river section had almost double its previous highest count.”
Many permanent ponds had good mallard counts.
“One lucky pond had four times the highest number recorded on it in the past six years.”
On cross-country transects, mallard counts were well below the average. There is a lack of ephemeral water in shallow ponds and paddocks. Ducks have largely moved away from many of these areas.
A third of all ponds surveyed had no ducks. Several ponds were dry. However, a few of those ponds had not recorded mallards since counting began in 2015.
Farmers have reported large flocks of ducks on harvested grain in South Otago and West Otago. Fish & Game has had several calls from farmers about nuisance populations of ducks.
“If the weather conditions are right, hunters should be in for a good harvest.
“Hunters want low cloud, rain and some wind on opening weekend.”
The MetService is forecasting showers, rain and fine spells in the Clutha district during the next week. Central Otago is expecting rain and showers followed by fine weather.
There was no mallard monitoring last year because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
PARADISE DUCKS
Otago’s paradise duck population is looking stable, based on this season’s counts.
An aerial count of paradise ducks in February found numbers similar to 2019 and slightly higher than 2020.
The highest counts were in Styx Basin, in the Maniototo, parts of the Ida Valley, Central Otago, and Lake Tuakitoto, in South Otago.
The paradise duck count is conducted in late summer while the birds are unable to fly due to moulting. Paradise ducks are likely to have dispersed to other locations since then.

Palmerston North – City funds harmony as part of Creative Communities Scheme

 Source: Palmerston North City Council

The Creative Communities Scheme is helping bring harmony to Palmy as part of its round two funding for 2020-2021.

Thirty successful applicants to the funding round shared a total of $76,725.82 towards their community arts projects.

Among successful applications was the Manawatunes Chorus ($2,775), who are hosting the national Barbershop Harmony Convention 2021, The Power of Harmony, at the Regent on Broadway over four days, 22-25 September.

Funding has also been given for a parallel event, the 2021 Young Singers in Harmony National Competition ($4,248.85).

Manawatunes Chorus secretary and chairman of the convention committee Greg Thomson says it’s the first time in 21 years the convention has been held in Palmy.

“It’s great to see the event coming to our city in our 150th year. It’s also the 25th anniversary of the Manawatunes, so there’s plenty to sing about.”

Adding to the event’s popularity is that last year’s Pan Pacific barbershop convention in Auckland was cancelled because of Covid-19, meaning competitors will be relishing the opportunity to come together. About 500 competitors are expected just for the adults’ contest, as well as their partners.

“With the complementary events coming together, it’s a fantastic opportunity to show off Palmy, the Regent on Broadway, our city’s great facilities and accommodation options to people who might not travel here that frequently.”

The first two days of the event, 22-23 September, will see the Young Singers shine on stage, with adult competitions as part of the convention contents running Friday and Saturday, 24-25 September.

The public is in for a treat, too, with performances showcasing the champions of the Young Singers event on Thursday, and the adults on Saturday.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to experience four-part harmonies including tenor, lead, baritone and bass, as well as choruses ranging from 20 people to more than 100,” Thomson says.

“The different sounds of the vocal harmonies and the type of music we employ to get those sounds make for a great show. It’s great for the audience and for the competitors taking part. It’s not just singing, it can be quite a performance.”

The harmonies will also spill out into the community, with singers appearing at local venues in “After-Glow” activities (following competition during the day). “You can expect to see a Big Sing gathering in Te Marae o Hine – The Square.”

One of the groups attending, Vocal FX, from Tawa, has done extremely well in competitions in the United States and has previously performed in Palmy. The headline quartet act for the convention is Grand Central, from Wellington, who contributed recently to a youth coaching programme in the city in February. 

Tickets to the Show of Champions will be available closer to the time through the Regent on Broadway.

 

The Creative Communities Scheme is a partnership between Council and Creative New Zealand that helps to fund local arts projects.

Creative Communities scheme 2020-21: Round two successful applications

 

Successful applications for the second round of funding (total $76,725.82) include:

 

Arka Gupta, Distancing (Atimari): A Movie Night with Superb Local Talents, $1,500

A film event including two short films made by local artists showcasing original writing and music, which was presented in April.

 

Scouting New Zealand – Manawatū Gang Show presents Showtime!, $3,000

A variety show at the Regent on Broadway in September, staged by the Scouts and Guides of the Manawatū.

 

New Zealand Young Singers in Harmony Trust, 2021 Young Singers in Harmony National Convention, $4,248.85

An annual national convention in September will bring students, teachers and music educators from throughout New Zealand to Palmy for two days of performance and competition.

 

Manawatū Art Teachers Association, Manawatū Combined Secondary Schools Exhibition, $1,000

This exhibition has evolved out of PNGHS exhibiting for the past 10 years at Square Edge. This year the plan is for a combined exhibition, August-September, to promote a collective shared experience for our Manawatū community.

 

Henrique Beirao, Palmy Drag Fest, $3,000

Palmy’s biggest drag show ever will bring performers from the Manawatū and from throughout New Zealand for one fabulous night of entertainment. Planned for July or August.

 

Karen Seccombe, Online Development of a WAI Website and Resources, $5,000

A project to set up a website, build promotional materials and resources that can then be used to apply for a Creative New Zealand Arts Grant for the 2022 WAI 10-year celebration exhibition, a written and online publication and a large nationwide women's collective work.

 

Taipari Waaka, Nga Kete Aronui 2021, $2,000

Nga Kete Aronui will use music, technology, social media and tikanga Māori (te reo māori, karakia, mihimihi, whakapapa, taonga pūoro) to encourage students to learn life skills. Students will have the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe environment, to be applied in real-life situations, such as school, home and in the community.

 

The Renaissance Singers, The Poet: A Song Cycle, $1,866

The Song Cycle was commissioned by Voices New Zealand and the New Zealand String Quartet. The poems are by Janet Frame. The Renaissance Singers will perform this in May as the centrepiece of a concert with a string quartet of local musicians, Nathan Pinkney, Joanna Dann, Sylvia Nield and Hayden Nickel.

 

Aaron McLean, Rhinoceros, $750

A community theatre production in July of the surrealist French drama Rhinoceros, written by Eugene Ionesco. A bizarre black comedy with elements of horror, it tells the story of a small town where the residents begin to turn into rhinos, and one melancholy alcoholic's coming to grips with it. An allegory about fascism and conformity, it speaks about individuality and how communities and individuals respond to an epidemic or crisis.

 

Graham Johnston, Aladdin Junior, $5,000

Creating an opportunity in July for the community to access, engage with and participate in local arts activities.

 

Manawatunes Chorus, Barbershop Harmony Convention 2021, $2,775

National competitions over four days in September with Young Singers the first two days and senior singers the next two days. This is a mixed competition, with both men's and women's quartets and choruses. It is 21 years since Manawatunes Chorus has hosted the event in Palmy.

 

Square Edge Community Arts, Art Trail Manawatū 2021, $6,000

Square Edge hosts the annual Art Trail Manawatū, with this year’s event on 16-17 October. This project is designed to continue building on the online and physical development from 2020. It will involve updating & creating new online artists' profiles, magazine pages, videos, photographs and written content. There’ll also be a trail guide maps and an exhibition of works, with regular artists hui and an event opening.

 

Hipnotize Bellydance, 2021 Spring Bellydance Festival, $1,000

Hipnotize Bellydance will present a weekend in October of bellydance, including a show and dance education. Bringing together bellydancers from throughout New Zealand together in this Middle Eastern-inspired event.

 

Matthew Steedman, Screen Time, $1,240

A solo exhibition by Matthew Steedman will showcase a collection of 15 new oil paintings at Square Edge in November.

 

Manawatū Writers’ Hub, Manawatū Writers’ Hub, $352.50

A hub where those with a passion for writing and those dreaming of writing can meet, engage with, and support each other.

 

Pamanlahi Cultural Ensemble, Cultural Immersion and Expression, $1,500

To enable young people (under 18 years) to engage with and participate in the arts. Including creating and documenting a collection of writing by young people, dance workshops for young people with a Filipino artist, creative workshops and dance performances.

 

Bhutanese Society of New Zealand (Manawatū), Creative Activities for Different Age Groups, $1,500

A project that aims to build leadership qualities and share Bhutanese arts cultures, traditions and belonging to young people through different creative activities.

 

Rose City Ballroom Championships, 2021 Rose City Ballroom Championships, $2,500

More than 150 aspiring, enthusiastic, North Island dancers (aged 5 to 75), including New Zealand champions, come to Palmy in August for this competition with their supporters.

 

Palmerston North Dance Association, PNDA 22nd Annual Dance Festival Competition, $5,000

A seven-day competition in October, including ballet, modern and hip-hop genres, involving solo, trio and group items. Dance competitors are aged from 4 years to adult.

 

Manawatū Lesbian and Gay Rights Association, Drag Story Time and Drag Show for Kids, $800

A drag storytime and a drag/performing arts show for children and young people in April.

 

Alexia Clark, Palmy Kids Rock, $5,000

A concert celebrating Palmy kids, New Zealand Music, and Palmerston North's 150 years while supporting children in our own backyard.

 

Palmerston North Choral Society, Shubert Workshop, $1,000

The Palmerston North Choral Society offer the experience of working with a visiting prominent Wellington conductor. A Saturday workshop in September will culminate with an open public performance.

 

Warren Warbrick, 150 Patai, $4,244.35

A sesquicentennial project for everyone to share their opinions, memories and feelings about the experience of being a Palmerston North citizen. The unique crowd-sourced material will then be shared with creatives to create new work. 

 

Aotearoa Waitangi Awards Charitable Trust, Aotearoa Country Music Awards 2021, $4,000

An annual regional singing competition for all ages held in Palmy in September, that attracts entrants from throughout New Zealand. Winning an overall title at this competition allows contestants entry into the prestigious NZCMA Entertainer of the Year.

 

Tania Kopytko, Carmina Burana – A Work in Progress, by Crows Feet Dance Collective, $1,534.49

Support towards theatre and rehearsal venue hire, production costs and promotion of Carmina Burana – A Work in Progress, to be performed in the Globe Theatre Palmerston North in October. Involving the Palmerston North Crows Feet Dance Collective, combining with the collectives of Wellington, Kapiti and the Hutt Valley to create a major contemporary dance theatre work.

 

Kane Parson, All the Right Notes, $3,000

A December family concert of music and comedy in the style of Victor Borge with the Manawatū Sinfonia and Youth Orchestra.

 

Muhammad Muzaffar Ali, Code-Switch, AFA Live Cinema Production Palmerston North Tour, $2,000

Twenty young people from a South Auckland community producing and taking their unique student-led, multi art-form, live cinema production to Palmerston North. Was presented in April (16-17).

 

Manawatū Theatre Society, Theatrefest 2021, $1,000

Theatrefest in June will bring together short plays from a wide range of schools and societies for judging and possible submission to the national finals.

 

REALM, Authors on Tour, $2,000

Promoting reading and literacy in Palmy by bringing well-respected authors and illustrators into local schools. This year, hosting New Zealand authors Stuart Lipshaw, Barbara Else, and Steph Mataku. 

 

The KaRs (The Kane and Regan Show), the KaRs Music Videos, $2,894.63

To create three music videos for The KaRs kids educational songs.

WTO and Pharma IP – 200+ organisations write to WTO head condemning NZ’s approach to Covid vaccine patents

Source: First Union
New Zealand organisations, including It’s Our Future, are among the more than 200 signatories of a letter to new World Trade Organisation Director General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, expressing concern over the proposal to use industry-led agreements as the primary approach to address global Covid vaccine production constraints and supply shortages, rather than addressing the barriers posed by the WTO’s intellectual property rules (TRIPS).
New Zealand is among a small group of countries championing this so-called ‘third way’ approach as an alternative to a waiver for the TRIPS rules on patents for Covid-related products is proposed by India and South Africa and supported by more than 100 countries.
Yesterday, the WTO held a special half-day event with selected trade ministers and industry representatives to try and encourage action on the “third way” approach that New Zealand is supporting.
On the same day, a letter signed by 175 former world leaders and Nobel laureates – including former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark – urged US President Biden to support the WTO waiver as “a vital and necessary step to bringing an end to this pandemic.”
“By supporting the third way proposal, New Zealand is indirectly running interference for the rich nations and companies that have refused to address issues around vaccine equity,” said Edward Miller, spokesperson for It’s Our Future.
“It’s time for New Zealand to end this charade and support the demand made by a majority of WTO members for a rules-based waiver to the intellectual property rules that have constrained vaccine manufacturing capacity.”

Fitness and Recreation – Shared pathway gets walkers off busy airport road

Source: New Zealand Walking Access Commission
A brand new safe shared pathway is opening on April 16 in Auckland.
Walkers and cyclists living in Southeast Auckland will soon be able to enjoy a shared walkway off Highway 20B on Campana Road. This will be much safer for people who previously had to walk along the busy 20B state highway.
This pathway is also an important part of the 3000km Te Araroa walking trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
Mark Weatherall, Executive Director of the Te Araroa trail says “It’s {now} a much more enjoyable part of the walk, close to the estuary, a better view that will really enhance the walker experience”.
Whether people are looking for a new walk or are walking the Te Araroa trail, this path provides another safe space for locals to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.
This shared pathway is an important step in a nationwide effort by Waka Kotahi, Te Araroa and the New Zealand Access Walking Commission to get walkers off busy roads and onto safe, off-road pathways. This will be safer and more pleasant for locals and people walking the Te Araroa trail.
Currently, around 15% of the Te Araroa trail is along busy highways. The goal is to decrease this to 10% within the next 3 years.
Auckland Airport have been significant partners in helping create this special place.
You are invited to attend the State Highway 20B Opening Event Friday 16 April – 11am on the corner of SH20B and Campana Road.

Horticulture – Government report shows need for urgent protection of land for food production, HortNZ says

Source: Horticulture New Zealand
Horticulture New Zealand is calling on the Government to act urgently to protect highly productive land for food production.
‘The Ministry for the Environment’s ‘Our land 2021’ report shows that between 2002 and 2019, 54 percent of highly productive land was lost to housing while cities and towns have sprawled by about a third,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
‘This situation simply isn’t good enough, considering that the primary production sector is the backbone of the New Zealand economy and only 15 percent of land is suitable for food production.
‘The Government must act now to retain remaining highly productive land. Once houses have been built on it, that soil is lost forever.
‘In August 2019, the Government launched its draft National Policy Statement on Highly Productive Land. Since then, no final decisions have been mage there has been no progress when clearly – as this Government report shows – there is an issue, which has the potential to comprise New Zealand’s ability to feed itself, fresh healthy food.
Mike says the Government report is bold when it states that “Once land has been built on or is surrounded by houses it can be almost impossible to use for farming in the future”.
‘But you only have to drive south out of Auckland to see that this very thing is happening to the highly productive, unique soils around Pukekohe, just as it is happening across the country.
‘Locally grown produce is under threat. If New Zealand is not careful, buying healthy, locally grown fruit and vegetables will become even harder. That will have a detrimental effect on many New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing, at a time when a lot of New Zealanders are worried about the future, in a post-Covid world.
‘Covid has highlighted how fragile global supply chains are and the importance of domestic food security. We need to act right now to protect our ability to grow healthy, nutritious fruit and vegetables in New Zealand.
‘With good planning, we can have it all. Healthy food for all New Zealanders as well as affordable housing. We can no longer just leave either of these things to chance.’

Health – Don’t let asthma hold you back this World Asthma Day

Source: Asthma and Respiratory Foundation
World Asthma Day is coming up on 4 May, and Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) is urging Kiwis to get sporty for a good cause. 
The annual awareness campaign is hosted by ARFNZ to educate Kiwis about one of New Zealand’s most prevalent respiratory diseases. 
“One in seven Kiwi children have asthma, as well as one in eight adults,” says ARFNZ Chief Executive Letitia Harding. “Asthma also has a large prevalence within our schools and communities, especially among Māori and Pacific populations.” 
 This year’s World Asthma Day theme is Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions, and one big myth that can stop children from enjoying physical activity is that people with asthma should avoid playing sport. “Sports and physical activity are actually great for maintaining healthy lungs, as long as asthma is well managed,” says Letitia. “It’s really important that children living with asthma get the opportunity to participate and reach their full sporting potential.” 
To keep their asthma well controlled and enjoy life to the full, children living with asthma need an Asthma Action Plan. This year, ARFNZ is raising funds to get Action Plans into the hands of all New Zealand children with asthma. Stats show that only a third of children with asthma currently have an Action Plan. 
 “Having an asthma management plan in place helps you recognise and manage worsening asthma symptoms and know when to get help,” says Research and Education Manager Joanna Turner. “Research shows that people who follow Asthma Action Plans have better control over their asthma and reduced emergency visits to general practice. It’s so important to have a plan in place so that you can enjoy sports and physical activity while keeping your asthma symptoms under control.” 
How you can contribute 
If you’d like to donate to get Asthma Action Plans to children who need them, visit worldasthmaday.org.nz. Each $5 you give gains an entry into the draw to win one of several great prizes. These include two Garmin Vivofit 4 – the perfect tool to keep track of physical activity and encourage respiratory health and fitness. 
There are also exciting prizes kindly donated by our Friends of the Foundation Sponsors and other Kiwi companies, including a signed Highlanders Jersey from Pulse Energy, an air purifier from Daikin, and a $250 voucher from Shoe Clinic. 
You can also take part in a World Asthma Day fundraising challenge or activity. Why not organise a sausage sizzle or a car wash day with your sports team? Or set yourself your own individual fitness challenge to raise funds this World Asthma Day – go for a bike ride, a run, or set yourself some netball, hockey shots, or rugby goals? 
For more information on World Asthma Day, visit asthmafoundation.org.nz/our-work/world-asthma-day 

Health – Governments Smokefree Action Plan Announced – bold moves to end Tobacco Harm in Aotearoa begins now

Source: Hapai Te Hauora
Hāpai Te Hauora applauds the government and today’s announcement by Associate Minister of Health, Dr. Ayesha Verrall on their proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. The three key goals are to eliminate inequities in smoking rates and smoking related illness; increase the number of children and young people who remain Smokefree; and, increase the number of people who successfully quit smoking.
Hāpai Te Hauora are pleased that within the first focus area to strengthen the tobacco control system, it is proposed to prioritise action to strengthen Māori governance of the tobacco control programme.
Hāpai CEO, Selah Hart, says she feels reassured by the announcement because it demonstrates a government committed to prioritise and address Smokefree 2025: “I, like other Māori health leaders, was pleased to read the announcement of the plan today, particularly its focus on Māori governance. The success of this plan now hinges on its ability to centre and action the voices of those closest to tobacco harm – our Māori and Pasifika communities”.
Following the work initiated over 10 years ago, as a part of the Māori Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into the Tobacco Industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Māori advocates who were instrumental in this work, are praising this bold move.
“This long-awaited tobacco action plan will begin the final demise of tobacco products in this country. To be a smokefree nation by 2025 requires some radical changes to stifle and then eliminate tobacco from all our communities. This plan has the opportunity to put public health first and the tobacco industry out of business.” stated Shane Bradbrook – Tobacco Control Advocate.
“For Māori, this plan provides some control over how this deadly product is finally pushed out of our people's lives. For too long the tobacco industry has been addicting our people, fleecing them of their money before we have to bury them in urupa all over this land. I am looking forward to truly making this a sunset industry in this corner of the world.” said Mr Bradbrook.
West Auckland community member, Marley Smith (52), has smoked since she was in primary school and is sceptical that tobacco control measures alone will help whānau overcome addictions. “They say smoking is harder to give up then drugs. Everything else is secondary because addiction is real. Whānau need support to deal with why they smoke in the first place”.
Hāpai Te Hauora has been appointed to carry out consultation with Māori and Pasifika whānau, anau, famili and aiga on its five focus areas, which include strengthening the tobacco control system including Māori governance and supporting community action. Other focus areas are: making smoked tobacco products less available, less addictive, less appealing, less affordable and to enhance existing initiatives.
Ms Hart agrees and believes the action plan needs to integrate and compliment other equity initiatives, like the government’s Child Wellbeing and Poverty Action Group or He Ara Oranga, the Mental Health and Addiction report: “To me, achieving Smokefree 2025 requires a concerted effort in improving the environments in which we are born into and live, learn, work, play, and worship in. Then these initiatives like reducing tobacco availability, addictiveness and appeal will be far more effective”.

Health – Governments Smokefree Action Plan Announced – bold moves to end Tobacco Harm in Aotearoa begins now

Source: Hapai Te Hauora
Hāpai Te Hauora applauds the government and today’s announcement by Associate Minister of Health, Dr. Ayesha Verrall on their proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. The three key goals are to eliminate inequities in smoking rates and smoking related illness; increase the number of children and young people who remain Smokefree; and, increase the number of people who successfully quit smoking.
Hāpai Te Hauora are pleased that within the first focus area to strengthen the tobacco control system, it is proposed to prioritise action to strengthen Māori governance of the tobacco control programme.
Hāpai CEO, Selah Hart, says she feels reassured by the announcement because it demonstrates a government committed to prioritise and address Smokefree 2025: “I, like other Māori health leaders, was pleased to read the announcement of the plan today, particularly its focus on Māori governance. The success of this plan now hinges on its ability to centre and action the voices of those closest to tobacco harm – our Māori and Pasifika communities”.
Following the work initiated over 10 years ago, as a part of the Māori Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into the Tobacco Industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Māori advocates who were instrumental in this work, are praising this bold move.
“This long-awaited tobacco action plan will begin the final demise of tobacco products in this country. To be a smokefree nation by 2025 requires some radical changes to stifle and then eliminate tobacco from all our communities. This plan has the opportunity to put public health first and the tobacco industry out of business.” stated Shane Bradbrook – Tobacco Control Advocate.
“For Māori, this plan provides some control over how this deadly product is finally pushed out of our people's lives. For too long the tobacco industry has been addicting our people, fleecing them of their money before we have to bury them in urupa all over this land. I am looking forward to truly making this a sunset industry in this corner of the world.” said Mr Bradbrook.
West Auckland community member, Marley Smith (52), has smoked since she was in primary school and is sceptical that tobacco control measures alone will help whānau overcome addictions. “They say smoking is harder to give up then drugs. Everything else is secondary because addiction is real. Whānau need support to deal with why they smoke in the first place”.
Hāpai Te Hauora has been appointed to carry out consultation with Māori and Pasifika whānau, anau, famili and aiga on its five focus areas, which include strengthening the tobacco control system including Māori governance and supporting community action. Other focus areas are: making smoked tobacco products less available, less addictive, less appealing, less affordable and to enhance existing initiatives.
Ms Hart agrees and believes the action plan needs to integrate and compliment other equity initiatives, like the government’s Child Wellbeing and Poverty Action Group or He Ara Oranga, the Mental Health and Addiction report: “To me, achieving Smokefree 2025 requires a concerted effort in improving the environments in which we are born into and live, learn, work, play, and worship in. Then these initiatives like reducing tobacco availability, addictiveness and appeal will be far more effective”.

Sustainable Business – Kiwi businesses accelerate sustainability despite Covid-19

Source: Sustainable Business Council
Oxygen Consulting in collaboration with the Sustainable Business Council (SBC), Sustainable Business Network (SBN) and Auckland University of Technology (AUT) have launched their 2021 Insights on New Zealand’s Sustainability Professionals.
Despite the huge impact of Covid-19 over the past year on jobs within many industries, overall the sustainability profession continues to grow.
Five key insights from the second survey support this finding:
1. Many organisations have strengthened their investment in sustainability despite Covid-19;
2. Almost all industry sectors in New Zealand are employing sustainability professionals;
3. Sustainability drives organisational purpose, and addressing climate change is the top priority;
4. Those working as sustainability professionals feel more empowered, are experiencing better work-life balance and greater job satisfaction; and
5. Sustainability professionals are change agents and people skills are critical to development in the role.
Director of Oxygen Consulting Sarah Holden says that Covid has been somewhat of an accelerator for sustainability as more and more businesses strengthened investments and advanced their sustainability objectives.
“We can see that the sustainability profession is strengthening, and organisations are continuing to drive genuine sustainability action, despite the potential economic challenges presented in the Covid-19 recovery.
“Our sustainability professionals’ strength is in their core skills – leadership, communication, problem solving, relationships and influencing – are key to being an effective organisational change agent in an adaptable world.”
Sustainable Business Council Executive Director Mike Burrell says every part of New Zealand’s economy is now helping cut emissions and transition to a low carbon future.
“The research shows business ambition and commitment to sustainability continues to grow, and we see this reflected in businesses that have maintained sustainability roles and strategies, despite the events of 2020.
“New Zealand has just become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business and explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities. There is a growing commitment across all sectors to work together towards investing in a sustainable recovery and supporting our sustainability professionals is an important part of that work.”
Sustainable Business Network Chief Executive Rachel Brown says when Covid hit, it was not initially clear what impact it would have on sustainability within businesses or on the profession.
“Despite a turbulent year, or perhaps as a result of a turbulent year and heightened awareness of issues around health or people and our planet, businesses recognise they need to take sustainability seriously. That has come through loud and clear in this research. Sustainability is now well and truly entrenched in the way we do business in Aotearoa.”
Auckland University of Technology Professor of Ethics and Sustainability Leadership Marjo Lips-Wiersma continues to see a growing interest in the profession as more people return to studies post lockdown.
“Our sustainability programme continues to grow, and students have experienced continuous opportunities for employment despite Covid. The sustainability role is professionalising, and up to date technical, self-management and change management skills are increasingly required to meet complex challenges.”
“We saw thousands of young people join the School Strike for Climate, reminding us this is a generation focused on a sustainable future. These keen young people are calling for urgent action to address the climate emergency we declared last year.”
A panel of sustainability professionals, Alec Tang (Auckland Council), Claire Walker (SkyCity), Amy Tea (Amy Tea Consulting) and Holly Leach (Sustainable Business Network) are speaking at today’s launch about how the survey results can support them in their roles.
Read the full report here.