Public health

The NZMA has asked the Government to make Public Health policy a coherent and clear national priority. Action taken at a population level can protect and improve the health of the population and that the Government has the opportunity to further influence a large number of factors that affect the health of New Zealanders, including interventions such as water fluoridation, increasing tobacco and alcohol control, and implementing measures to curb the environmental drivers of the obesity epidemic.

Preventive health links strongly with the second part of our mission statement. Major policy areas are obesity, tobacco and alcohol.

  • The NZMA published the Obesity policy briefing paper recommending key policy initiatives.
  • We continue to pursue tobacco control polices and support the goal of Smokefree by 2025; have made a submission in favour of a protocol to eliminate trade in tobacco products; and a submission on policy options for the regulation of electronic cigarettes.
  • Alcohol policies remain a focus for the NZMA, at both central and local government levels. We received extensive media coverage for our Alcohol policy briefing paper. We also supported PHA’s Don’t Know, Don’t Drink campaign on drinking in pregnancy with a media release.
  • Other public health issues we are pursuing include folate, fluoride, iodine and psychoactive substances.
  • We have made a submission to the Health Select Committee supporting the Health Protection Bill, which recommends a ban on sunbeds for those under 18. We support the Cancer Society's call for a ban on commercial sunbeds.