In late 2008 the Auckland Regional Council and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service jointly commissioned a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of the 2009 Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy (ARLTS).
This included the potential directions that could create a transport system that better protects and promotes the health of Aucklanders.
This HIA report explores the issues raised through the course of the HIA, involving stakeholder consultation, literature analysis and impact modelling, and provides recommendations for the development and implementation of the ARLTS from a perspective of health and wellbeing.
Synergia Ltd was contracted to lead the HIA. Dr Adrian Field and Kim Arcus led the process from Synergia, partnering with Dr Alexandra Macmillan and Dr Graeme Lindsay of the School of Population Health, University of Auckland, and Megan Tunks of Hapai te Hauora Tapui Ltd, a Māori public health provider. The HIA was conducted from November 2008 to June 2009.
There are five elements to this project:
- a profile of the people of Auckland, the transport dynamics and the health status of Aucklanders
- a literature review on the links between transport and health and well-being
- two scoping workshops with stakeholders to explore the potential scope of the HIA
- two consultative workshops on directions for the ARLTS; one with a ‘mainstream’ audience, and the other with Māori stakeholders to explore Māori health perspectives in transport
- high-level health impact modelling of potential health impacts of the different scenarios being tested for the ARLTS.
The development and preparation of the HIA for the draft RLTS 2009 was jointly funded by the Auckland Public Health Service and the Auckland Regional Council.
In the scoping phase of this HIA, four overarching themes were identified. These were:
- Safety: Opportunities to ensure optimal safety for all users of the different modes of transport.
- Access and Mobility: Opportunities to increase access and mobility, particularly for disadvantaged groups, to be able to reach services, amenities and facilities that support healthy living.
- Increasing active modes of transport: Opportunities for embedding active modes of transport across the region.
- Emissions and noise: Opportunities to reduce air and noise pollution and to enhance the positive health impacts of improving environmental sustainability in this area.
In addition, consultation with Māori stakeholders raised issues of kaitiakitanga (guardianship). This included such issues as run-off from road development, pollution into the sea affecting the supply of kaimoana (traditional sea food beds), old urupā (or burial sites) and other forms of wāhi tapu that are relocated due to roading projects (such as airport roading developments); all of which were seen as elements which impact on kaitiakitanga and consequently the well-being of whānau and hapū of the region.
The report discusses the recommendations which focus on the key directions highlighted by stakeholders for the transport strategy, and are given further impetus by the implications of the modeling. The recommendations are around integrated planning; identifying leverage points for change; investment path for active and public transport; access for vulnerable population groups; demand management; advocacy for national regulatory change; and information and communications.