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King: Opening Ceremony, Lakeland Health Ltd

Te Whare o Rangiuru

Opening Ceremony, Lakeland Health Ltd

Thursday, March 30, 2000

Initiative Applauded

SPEECH BY THE HON. ANNETTE KING

MINISTER FOR HEALTH

Firstly, thank you for your very warm welcome today. And, secondly, thank you very much for inviting me to open Te Whare o Rangiuru, this quite special Woman, Child and Family unit.

I have heard much about the unit, and I am really looking forward to the tour after this official ceremony is over.

I understand you have an open evening for the public tonight. I hope many people turn out for the event, because this unit represents real initiative, and the board and staff of Lakeland Health, and the people you serve, can feel genuine pride at the achievement.

In the short time I have been Minister of Health, I have regularly said the Government is interested in genuine health initiatives. The aspect of this initiative that gives me most pleasure, however, is the thought and the thoughtfulness that has gone into it.

Te Whare o Rangiuru is not just a good idea. The unit is a good idea certainly, but it is one that has been nurtured and developed with community participation, particularly Maori, other community groups, health care providers and Lakeland staff.

That is the sort of philosophy that I want to encourage above all else in the wider health sector. New Zealand can do so much better in terms of attaining the health goals we set ourselves, in ridding ourselves of some of the more shocking disparities in health care that are found around the country, by nurturing a climate of cooperation and working together.

You will have been hearing much about the changes I am proposing in New Zealand's health system, and just before I came here I was talking about them at a health forum in this city. I am not going to talk about them here too, except to say that a health system in which the community is involved is a health system people are more likely to trust.

The community has been involved in this project. That is an excellent basis to providing the sort of quality and sensitive health care that a Woman, Child and Family unit should be all about.

If there is any sort of health care that is more important than others, it is surely the quality of the care we provide for mothers and their children and their whanau.

This facility has been designed to lessen the trauma in times of stress for women, children and whanau. It is designed to provide the sort of comfortable environment that good care should be about. It is designed also to encourage care in the community and in the home as well as in the hospital. That is why there is so much emphasis on whanau.

I am particularly impressed by the mix of facilities and services provided by Te Whare o Rangiuru. Those services, maternity, a children's unit, special baby care unit, and women's and children's outpatient clinics, all have a special relationship to each other, of course, and I think it is significant that Lakeland Health has recognised and nurtured that relationship.

There is one more special aspect of Te Whare o Rangiuru that I should perhaps mention. The whole facility has been designed, I understand, to take best advantage of the sun and the wonderful views of the lake.

In Wellington, we get wonderful views of the harbour, but detractors of Wellington would suggest that maybe we don't get quite as much sun as the Bay of Plenty.

Whatever the truth of that, the view is another reason why this facility is so special. Congratulations once again to everyone who has been involved with this project. The women, children and their whanau of this region have been well served by the thought that has gone into this facility, and they will be well served by it now that it is in operation. Thank you again for inviting me here.

ENDS

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