News

People have had a hard time weighing pandemic risks because they haven’t gotten information they needed when they needed it

Guest Author Apr 30, 2021

Kathleen H. Pine, Arizona State University; Kathryn Henne, Australian National University, and Myeong Lee, George Mason University The decision to pause and then restart the Johnson & Johnson vaccine underscores how hard it is even for experts to gauge health risks. It’s been still harder for everyday people, most of whom have no medical background and little experience analyzing … Read More

Without the right financial strategies, NZ’s climate change efforts will remain unfinished business

Guest Author Apr 28, 2021

David Hall, Auckland University of Technology When it comes to climate change, money talks. Climate finance is critical for enabling a low-emissions transition. This involves investment and expenditure — public, private, domestic and transnational — that demonstrably contributes to climate mitigation, adaptation or both. As New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told US President Joe Biden’s virtual Leaders’ … Read More

No one is mourning the end of district health boards, but rebuilding trust in the system won’t be easy

Guest Author Apr 27, 2021

Tim Tenbensel, University of Auckland This week’s announcement that all district health boards (DHBs) would be abolished and replaced with a centralised health agency took a lot of people by surprise. Most key health sector interest groups appear to support the proposed agency, provisionally known as Health NZ. But the Labour government has created some very high expectations, … Read More

With closer ties to GPs, NZ’s new central health agency could revolutionise treatment of major diseases

Guest Author Apr 26, 2021

Verna Smith, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington It is rare to get excited about institutional reform, but the government’s announcement of wholesale changes to the health system has the potential to be transformative. The restructure comes in response to last year’s Health and Disability System review. Among other changes, it will create a centralised organisation, … Read More

The St Vincent eruption is a reminder of how volcano research and monitoring can save lives

Guest Author Apr 23, 2021

Silvio De Angelis, University of Liverpool and Janine Kavanagh, University of Liverpool Volcanic eruptions come with a variety of hazards, depending on the type of volcano and its magma. Some have effusive eruptions, where lava flows constantly, while others can expel large clouds of fragments of magma and gases – volcanic ash – into the atmosphere. For some of the … Read More

If we want to improve NZ’s freshwater quality, first we need to improve the quality of our democracy

Guest Author Apr 23, 2021

Nicolas Pirsoul, University of Auckland and Maria Armoudian, University of Auckland Since the fatal Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in 2016, freshwater quality has rightfully been a major political issue in Aotearoa New Zealand. Pipes bursting in Wellington, lead contamination in Otago and concerns about tolerable levels of nitrates in the country’s drinking water are all signs … Read More

New authority could transform Māori health, but only if it’s a leader, not a partner

Guest Author Apr 22, 2021

Dominic O’Sullivan, Charles Sturt University and Heather Came, Auckland University of Technology As part of a major overhaul of the health system, health minister Andrew Little yesterday announced a new Māori health authority. The authority will be able to commission primary health services and make joint decisions with a newly created centralised health agency. It’s a simple idea, … Read More

So a helicopter flew on Mars for the first time. A space physicist explains why that’s such a big deal

Guest Author Apr 21, 2021

Gail Iles, RMIT University Yesterday at 9pm Australian Eastern standard time, the Ingenuity helicopter — which landed on Mars with the Perseverance rover in February — took off from the Martian surface. More importantly, it hovered for about 30 seconds, three metres above the surface and came right back down again. It may not sound like a huge … Read More

Road to nowhere: New Zealanders struggle to get the help they need, 2 years on from a funding boost for mental health services

Guest Author Apr 19, 2021

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington As part of New Zealand’s well-being budget in 2019, the government announced an unprecedented NZ$1.9 billion increase in funding for the mental health sector. But almost two years on, there are no tangible signs of improvement and statistics show the number of New Zealanders seeking, but not receiving, … Read More

Otago locals rally to save fossils from destruction

Guest Author Apr 15, 2021

By Kate Evans for Undark One of New Zealand’s most spectacular fossil sites originated 23.2 million years ago. It was formed in a valley dotted with small volcanoes, when rising magma deep below the Earth’s surface came into contact with groundwater. Lava and water don’t mix — they explode. The resulting detonation obliterated the surrounding forest and left … Read More