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1 June 2017

 

Issue 2 - June 2017

This Healthy Policies Update is brought to you by the Healthy Policies Team at Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service (Toi Te Ora).  This bi-annual update showcases the support available to council planners, advisors and policy makers, who are helping create healthy communities across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts where people live, learn, work and play.  It provides information about the latest evidence, data and tools, and local and national innovative case studies.

This update is available in both e-copy and hardcopy. To subscribe to the e-update, please click here or to request a hardcopy please email healthy.policies@bopdhb.govt.nz

Please circulate this update and subscription invitation to your colleagues and any relevant stakeholders.

In this update:


Population Survey Provides Helpful Insight for Councils

Every four years, Toi Te Ora undertakes the Issues of Health and Wellbeing Population Survey to increase our understanding of what people in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes areas think about issues related to public health.
The findings are of significant value to Toi Te Ora, local government and community groups, as they can be used to inform planning and advocacy of programmes and policies which support public health.
In the
recent survey, 841 people from across the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, and Taupō, provided their views on the following issues:

  • walking, cycling and public transport
  • environmental health
  • smokefree environments and reducing tobacco use
  • alcohol marketing and outlet licensing
  • food security and nutrition
  • reducing sugary drink consumption
  • housing conditions
  • health promoting workplaces
  • health promoting schools
  • rheumatic fever prevention.

 

How Can Local Government Use the Findings?
One question Toi Te Ora asked which may be of particular interest to local government, was, “Do you think beauty salons and places that do tattoos and piercings should be required to be regularly inspected for hygiene and safety?”

One way Councils can use these findings to support public health is by the introduction of a bylaw.  Bylaws are a great tool for supporting positive public health outcomes as they provide a way for Councils to improve, promote and protect public health. 

Currently the Ministry of Health Guidelines for the Safe Piercing of Skin are voluntary, unless councils require compliance through bylaws, which then set a minimum acceptable standard.
This minimum standard is helpful in terms of protecting the public’s health, but also for council regulatory staff, as it creates a baseline for surveillance and complaint investigation.

Another useful resource related to this is Toi Te Ora’s position statement on skin piercing.

For more information regarding how bylaws can support the health of your community, please email our Health Protection Officer, Annaka Davis: annaka.davis@bopdhb.govt.nz    
If you would like to read more on the survey results
click here.


Toi Te Ora and Local Government - Collaborating to Ensure Lifelong Wellbeing for All
 

Improving Wellbeing Through Policy: Health Impact Assessments Can Help!

Health begins long before illness, where we live, learn, work and play.  Because of this, local government has a big impact on the health and wellbeing of communities as Council decisions effect many of these places.

A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a systematic approach that allows you to understand the potential effects any proposed policy, strategy, plan or project will have on community health and wellbeing,  prior to its implementation. 

HIA’s help decision-makers make choices about improvements or alternative options to a proposed project - specifically relating to health.  They provide recommendations that can enhance or promote community health and wellbeing, or offset potential negative impacts on health.

Another benefit of HIA’s is that they support council staff to deliver on quality aspects of policy-making including community engagement, evidence-based practice and sustainability (considering both short and long term).  These elements align with the best-practice principles of impact assessment. 

In terms of their effectiveness, HIA’s are a well established approach having been subject to considerable evaluation both within New Zealand and abroad. HIA’s are also supported by the Ministry of Health and have been identified by both Lakes and Bay of Plenty District Health Boards as an effective means for delivering Health In All Policies.

For more information on the HIA tool contact your local Health Improvement Advisor: healthy.policies@bopdhb.govt.nz

 

Health Impact Assessment in Practice: Eastern Bay Beyond Today

Eastern Bay – Beyond Today (EB-BT) provides a 30-50 year vision for the development of the Eastern Bay economy, people and culture, environment and infrastructure.  The EB-BT is governed by the Eastern Bay Joint Committee, comprising of the three Eastern Bay Councils and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. 

A HIA was completed against the draft EB-BT implementation plan.  This was managed by Toi Te Ora, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and a HIA steering group.

The HIA process generated interest from a wide range of people, many of whom took part in the HIA scoping workshop.  Due to the logistics of engaging people from right across the region, this workshop was hosted using a virtual medium. 

The scoping workshop identified the following main themes: two determinants (inequities and the natural and built environment) and two population groups (Māori and people aged 8 and 80 years old).

The appraisal assessment was conducted using these prioritised themes and the recommendations generated were given to the EB-BT project group to consider. The draft EB-BT plan was amended according to the recommendations.

A benefit of this HIA process has been the strengthening of working relationships between Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Toi Te Ora. This relationship is being further developed through a partnership project which is currently underway around the impact of the ageing population in the Eastern Bay.

For more information click here to read the full strategy.
 

Health Impact Assessment in Practice: Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint

The Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint (Blueprint) is a 10 year plan for public transport in the Western Bay of Plenty.  The development of the Blueprint was a collaborative project between the organisations responsible for funding and shaping transport networks in the Western Bay. 

These partners include the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council. 

The Blueprint presented three potential programme options for public transport delivery.  Within the scope of these programme options are policies and plans, infrastructure, and bus routes.

The Blueprint HIA aimed to provide evidence about the benefits of public transport to health and wellbeing. It also aimed to assist public transport planners to develop a view on which of the Blueprint options delivers the greatest health and wellbeing benefit for the selected community groups.

The HIA scoping workshop identified the two groups in the community who were expected to experience significant impacts from any proposed changes to the public transport service. These groups were people with disabilities, and those with low disposable income. The follow up appraisal workshop discussed the causal paths between the Blueprint options and health outcomes. It also identified potential solutions to prevent or reduce negative health impacts, and to promote positive impacts of the proposed policy.

Along with the research review, this discussion formed the basis of the HIA recommendations which have informed the Blueprint Network Design Finalisation prior to public consultation.


Healthy Homes Forum Heats Up

Following the successful Housing and Health Seminar hosted by Toi Te Ora in June 2016 the Bay of Plenty and Lakes Healthy Homes Forum has been established. The forum includes representatives from local councils, Te Puni Kōkiri, Collaboration Bay of Plenty (CoBOP), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), Bay Trust, Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Social Development.

This forum aims to improve the health of vulnerable communities and families/whānau.  It provides leadership and coordination for healthy housing interventions across the Lakes and Bay of Plenty region.  The forum also meets to seek sustainable funding, explore efficiencies, and ensure good practice in community-based housing projects.  Currently the forum is compiling a directory of local housing services and providers, and looking at ways to collaborate on new housing projects in the region.

Last year Toi Te Ora undertook research, ‘Residents’ Perspectives of the Impact of Housing on Their Health and Wellbeing’ to explore residents’ perceptions of the impact of their housing on their health and wellbeing.  This qualitative research consisted of interviews with 29 residents living in Lakes, Western, and Eastern Bay of Plenty.  The research was used to inform the Toi Te Ora Housing Strategy as well as supporting advocacy for better housing and therefore better health outcomes.

The research highlighted the following issues had significant impact on health and wellbeing:

  • Fuel poverty (unable to afford adequate home heating)
  • Dampness and/or mould
  • Security of tenure
  • The quality of neighbourhood relationships and community connectivity.

Additionally, many residents reported that home ownership is a goal. This research is available on the Toi Te Ora website here.

For more information, contact Lindsay Lowe: Lindsay.Lowe@bopdhb.govt.nz


Rotorua Breathes Easy as Smokefree Spaces Increase

Rotorua residents have a greater chance of enjoying a smokefree community following Rotorua Lakes Council’s commitment to increasing smokefree spaces in its district. The Council is extending it's Smokefree Outdoor Spaces Policy in two phases, over two years. 

Phase one implements smokefree zones at all bus stops and shelters, the i-Site and library surrounds, Rotorua International Stadium, and all youth spaces, council-controlled reserves and parks, and council delivered events. 

Phase two starts in January 2019 and will see outdoor paved eating places, Eat Streat, inner city markets, and entrances and exits of public buildings and facilities also become smokefree zones.

Dr Phil Shoemack, Toi Te Ora’s Medical Officer of Health, says, “Increasing the number of smokefree outdoor spaces helps reduce the visibility of smoking making it less likely that children and young people will start.”  He adds, “Smokefree spaces also help support smokers who are trying to quit.” 

For more information visit:

Unqiue Online Health Hub Launched to Celebrate Hapū Health

Toi Te Ora, along with many collaborative partners, have developed a one of a kind online Māori health hub for local whānau, hapū and iwi. 

Hapū Hauora was launched in late February and is a unique health resource hub which provides hapū with baskets of knowledge, 'Ngā Kete Mātauranga', around three health areas: oranga kai (healthy food), auahi kore (smokefree), and te karonga I ngā momo mate (avoiding infections).  Within each of these kete are resources, tips, interactive tools, and templates hapū and whānau can use to improve their health - using the marae to set the example and lead the way for tamariki.

Hapū Hauora Kaupapa Lead, Brad Bluett, says Hapū Hauora has been developed to help whānau and hapū improve their knowledge and skills around key health areas and celebrates traditional concepts of hauora.  “We hope that by providing hapū with a resource which supports whānau to make the healthy choice the easy choice, it will lead to improved health and wellbeing within our local communities.” 

This is an exciting development for local Councils, as if Māori health improves within a community, then community health as a whole improves. 

In the near future there will be two additional health areas developed to support whānau to whakakore waipiro (reduce alcohol intake) and increase korikori tīnana (physical activity). 

This resource could be particulary helpful for iwi liaison staff within your Council. Find the Hapū Hauora website at www.hapuhauora.health.nz

Click here to subscribe to the Hapū Hauora Kumara Vine panui.



For more information about Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service

Visit our website www.ttophs.govt.nz

Email our Healthy Policies Team at healthy.policies@bopdhb.govt.nz

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