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NZ: Smartcard to help low income families buy healthy food

A group of public health researchers have identified ways to help Maori, Pacific and low income families afford enough nutritious food.  They came up with two possibilities:

  • the removal of GST on healthy foods
  • the use of a smartcard providing discounts on nutritious food.

The researchers found there were strong arguments against removing GST on food.  They recommended the smartcard option.

Read more: Press release, Public Health Assoc/ Scoop, 2 Sep 2009

Read the research: Enhancing Food Security and Physical Activity for Maori, Pacific and Low Income People (PDF)

Comprehensive health recommendations published

Public health researchers have made recommendations on how to improve food security and increase physical activity in Maori, Pacific and low income families. These include:

  • introducing a Smart Card to subsidise healthy food
  • helping people to access their full benefit entitlements
  • regulating loan-sharks
  • placing greater responsibility on the food industry
  • improving urban design
  • supporting culturally-specific physical activity programmes.

The Smart Card proposal was presented at the PHA Conference in September.

Read more: Auckland University press release/Scoop, 19 Oct 2009

Published on October 19, 2009 in New Zealand news