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Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in NZ. Have your say.

Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in New Zealand

Parliament’s Health Select Committee is conducting an Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in New Zealand. FOE is thrilled about this.

We want the Select Committee to receive as many submissions as possible from parents, health professionals, teachers and so on who agree with our position on what needs to be done to halt and reverse the obesity epidemic.

We strongly believe that substantial environmental changes involving a ‘whole of government’ approach and, if need be, regulatory/legislative measures are required.

There are lots of issues you might like to raise with the Committee. Some of these are:

  • banning the advertising of unhealthy food and drink during the hours that children watch television
  • banning the sale of unhealthy food and drink in schools
  • using taxation to make healthy food cheaper and junk food more expensive
  • having confectionery-free checkouts in supermarkets
  • developing neighbourhoods that encourage physical activity in everyday life

The timeframe is short – submissions are due in by 26 April and hearings will probably start in May.


To make a submission you should:

  • Read the terms of reference.
  • Decide on which Terms of Reference to address. You don’t need to cover them all. Most of the changes we want to see, such as a ban on TV advertising during children?s viewing times, fall under Terms of Reference 4.
  • Say at the top of your letter which Terms of Reference you are addressing.
  • Write about specific issues. (See the above list for ideas to write about.) Make recommendations.
  • Say whether you want to be heard by the Committee (please do) and give your name, address and daytime phone number.
  • Send 25 copies of your submission to the Health Select Committee Secretariate, Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, Wellington by 26 April. Postage is free.


For more information:


Other ideas:

  • Keep your submission short – 8-10 pages is fine. (Expert organisations will also use footnotes and appendices)
  • If is is more than a page or two, have a summary at the front
  • Make it easy to read. Use short sentences and bullet points and a large enough type font. Space down the sides helps too.
  • Make it memorable. You want to catch the eye of the politicians who will be reading it.
  • Back your case with research evidence if you have it
  • Use stories and photos if the research evidence isn’t there
  • If you have problems with photocopying, contact FOE or the Obesity Action Coalition


Terms of Reference for the Inquiry into Obesity and Type Two Diabetes in New Zealand

The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

  1. To examine the causative factors likely to be driving increases in obesity and type 2 diabetes, including nutrition and physical activity.
  2. To identify the effects of obesity and type 2 diabetes on the health of both children and adults and across ethnic and socio-economic groups and potential future costs.
  3. To inquire into the effectiveness, particularly for children, of current obesity prevention approaches and interventions including primary prevention and screening, information provision, education, physical activity and voluntary steps taken by the food industry.
  4. To inquire into whether additional interventions aimed at changing features of the environment that promote obesity are required.
  5. To consider what policy or legislative mechanisms, if any, should be used to give effect to any findings of the inquiry.
  6. To report the inquiry’s findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives.

This site also gives details on how many copies of the submission to send (25), where to send them and when by. It also says that if you wish to appear before the committee, state this clearly with your submission, providing a contact name and daytime phone number.

It notes that submissions to select committees generally become public and to contact the committee secretariat before sending information of a private or personal nature.

Source: Clerk of the House Website


Inquiry into Obesity and Type Two Diabetes in New Zealand

Parliament’s Health Committee has decided to undertake a comprehensive inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in New Zealand. The committee’s decision to hold the inquiry was unanimous. The committee is calling for submissions from the public. The closing date for submissions is 26 April 2006.”

Source: Health Select Committee Press Release, 22 Feb 2006

Obesity inquiry vitally important

“I can’t think of a more important inquiry that needs to take place. Obesity is arguably the most serious public health crisis confronting New Zealand,” Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

Source: Green Party press release, 22 Feb 2006

Published on March 3, 2006 in New Zealand news