Political parties fall short on policies that work towards low-carbon, healthy transport systems for this country according to results of a survey by the Public Health Communication Centre (PHCC).
This is the third in our Briefing series analysing the survey responses from the five political parties currently in parliament. This Briefing - Where do the parties stand? A low carbon, healthy transport system - looks at the questions around public transport pricing and shifting Aotearoa NZ to more sustainable and health promoting transport.
Lead author Associate Professor Caroline Shaw says our current transport system is unhealthy, accounting for more deaths and disability in NZ than tobacco or obesity. “It is also inequitable with parts of the population excluded from the benefits that transport brings.”
Despite the wealth of evidence pointing to what works to create a transport system that is healthy for the people and planet, Dr Shaw says the survey shows parties fall short on policy.
“The scope of the challenge around reducing transport emissions has been laid out clearly in multiple local reports and plans and the urgency of the task could not be clearer. So, it is disappointing that some of the political parties have not seriously engaged with this in their policy platforms.”
“The Green Party transport policy is the most promising in terms of reducing emissions and improving health but still has gaps.” says Dr Shaw.
The results of the survey show that policies that support transport equity were backed by some, but not all, parties. There appears to be broader support for public transport pricing policies (supported by the Green Party, Labour Party and Te Pati Māori), than e-bike policy (supported by the Green Party only).
“The policy gaps that mean no political party is, at present, outlining a full suite of policies that will address the challenges of moving to a low carbon, healthy transport system,” says Dr Shaw.