Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


PM Speech: Christchurch Women’s Hospital Opening

Rt Hon Helen Clark Prime Minister Address at Opening of Christchurch Women’s Hospital

Riccarton Avenue Christchurch 4.30 pm Friday 6 May 2005

Thank you for the invitation to open the new Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

This is a state of the art hospital, and at a cost of just under $79 million represents a huge investment in Canterbury’s health system.

Major upgrades of our public hospital infrastructure have been going on all over New Zealand and much more is planned.

Minister Annette King and I were at the opening of the new hospital in Invercargill a few months ago, and Annette presided over the major opening at Waitakere Hospital in West Auckland recently.

Last year’s Budget committed $802 million over four years for new hospital infrastructure across the country, from Kaitaia in the north, to Dunstan in Central Otago – and many projects in between.

In health, we know that buildings aren’t everything.

It’s what happens in them which counts.

But it certainly makes a huge difference to our highly valued health workforce to have modern facilities and state of the art equipment.

There will be many fond memories of working at the old Christchurch Women’s Hospital on Colombo Street.

But alongside those memories will be the experience of working in the new hospital which represents best practice in hospital design.

This matters for all who use the hospital – the women who give birth here and their babies, and the women who seek treatment here. Each one of them deserves the very best that we can provide in health care in New Zealand.

There are critical respects in which women’s use of our health services differs from that of men.

In the first place, most women have children – and enter hospitals like this one, not because they are sick, but because they are in the best of health and about to give birth.

It’s also fair to say that women’s contact with the health services continues throughout the family life cycle. Women are more likely to be the carers for children and for older, frail, or disabled relatives.

For all these reasons, I find women very well informed about what goes on in our health system.

As well, there are now good screening systems for women’s health problems like cervical cancer and breast cancer – which see well women getting regular checks.

Alas, a common cancer among men like prostate cancer cannot be so readily checked for.

This hospital has big facilities devoted to maternity services and neonates, and to services for a wide range of other women’s health needs.

The chances are that most Christchurch women, and most Christchurch families, will come here for one reason or another in the course of their lives.

That makes this a very significant building.

I want to acknowledge everyone who works in the hospital – professionals, technicians, aides, management and administration – and the very important cooks and cleaners.

A hospital is like a big team – everyone has a very important role to play in making coming to this hospital the best possible experience it can be.

Putting on my hat as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, can I congratulate those who’ve designed the hospital on making sure there is provision for artworks.

All the artwork has been sourced locally – and all but two original works are by Canterbury women.

Some of the artworks have been created by staff here at the hospital, some by children, and some have been donated by the community.

Art in the hospital helps create an environment which is pleasant and attractive, and either cheerful or reflective where it needs to be.

Over the close to five and a half years I’ve been Prime Minister, I’ve seen government spending on health rise by almost fifty per cent to not far short of $9 billion a year.

One of the most fundamental duties of government is to fund a good public health system.

In health, there’s always more to do, but I know we are giving it our best shot.

Coming to an occasion like this to celebrate the opening of a major new hospital makes all our efforts seem worthwhile.

I wish all those who work at Christchurch Women’s Hospital all the best in their work for women and for babies.

It is now my pleasure to declare the new Christchurch Women’s Hospital officially open.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news