A health impact assessment (HIA) was undertaken by Environment Waikato (EW) as part of the Waikato Regional Land Transport Strategy (Waikato RLTS) review that commenced in 2009.
The HIA occurred between September 2009 and March 2010. It was led by EW in partnership with Waikato DHB Population Health and with the support of community and organisation representatives from across the Waikato region.
The Waikato RLTS is a statutory document prepared by the Waikato RTC every 6 years (formerly 3 years). The aim is to set out the land transport outcomes that the region and government wish to achieve over the 30-year period, and identifies the strategic approach, investment priorities and a set of policies and actions that guide the local, regional and national agencies to achieve the desired transport outcomes. The Land Transport Management Act (LTMA) guides RLTS development.
The HIA identified some of the potential direct and indirect impacts (positive and negative) of the proposed strategic direction of the strategy on public health and wellbeing. The HIA suggested that the revised Waikato RLTS should support a comprehensive approach to transport planning that involves a mix of regulation, infrastructure, education and information, advocacy, and democracy, to protect and promote public health and wellbeing for all people living in the Waikato region. Integral to this are travel demand management (TDM) and encouraging alternative modes. To help ensure improved public health outcomes for all transport users within the Waikato, the preferred strategic direction adopted by the revised RLTS will need to help ensure potential associated health and wellbeing benefits are fairly distributed across the population.
Overarching recommendations were proposed, some around the strategic foundations that should be incorporated within the Waikato RLTS; leading to actions at regional and local levels that flow from the strategy; and resulting in potential health-related outcomes.