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Planetary Wellbeing: the Way of the Future

Planetary Wellbeing: the Way of the Future

The Public Health Association’s 2017 Conference got underway this morning at Rydges Hotel Latimer, Otautahi (Christchurch).

In a morning address Professor John Raeburn spoke about planetary wellbeing as the way of the future for public health in New Zealand and globally. He said it’s a new concept aimed at giving new life to the way we look at public health that will bring it into line with 21st century realities.

“Climate change, erratic politicians, new diseases, youth suicide, unparalleled migration and many other issues provide very real threats to health and wellbeing of New Zealanders and everyone in the world.” he said.

“Unfortunately, current approaches, from government policy down to the way we promote health in society, are not currently adequate to meet these threats. Nor do we fully appreciate the important role public health approaches have to play.”

Professor Raeburn said the new concept of ‘Planetary Wellbeing’ has been coined by a recently established New Zealand group called the Planetary Wellbeing Coalition, of which he is a member. It consists of senior representatives of the Public Health Association, the Health Promotion Forum, and the Prior Policy Centre.

“This concept, with its scope, inclusiveness and values could well be a crucial rallying point for rejuvenating and strengthening 21st century public health approaches both in Aotearoa and the rest of the world. I think it’sexactly what’s needed to kick start discussion and action in this area,” he said.

Professor Raeburn is now retired after spending 34 years as an academic at the University of Auckland and 10 years as an Adjunct Professor at AUT University. His core interests include empowering community development and wellbeing. He has authored more than 80 academic papers and a book on health promotion (with Canadian Irving Rootman). He contributed to the Ottawa and Bangkok Charters for Health Promotion, has a QSO for Community Service, and was the 2015 Public Health Association Public Health Champion.


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