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O'Connor opens Rural Sector Workshop

O'Connor opens Rural Sector Workshop

Associate Health and Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor today welcomed mayors and local government representatives from around New Zealand* to a rural health workshop in Wellington.

Mr O'Connor initiated the workshop to encourage local government involvement in rural health care.

"We face some key challenges in the area of rural health and they're challenges we must work together to address. This workshop gives local and central government representatives an opportunity to come together, share ideas and seek solutions to some difficult issues."

Mr O'Connor said councils had a major role to play in achieving healthier communities.

"Water quality, sewage disposal, rubbish collection, housing regulations, town planning, food and hygiene inspection - all these activities contribute significantly to the health of communities.

"Local authority representatives enjoy a unique and informed perspective on these broader health determinants."

Mr O'Connor said he would address the forum on "big picture" issues, such as emergency services, 24-hour care, government support for rural health and new directions in primary health care.

"I'll also talk about how I think local government and the health sector can combine their expertise for the benefit of their local communities."

Justice Minister Phil Goff will address the workshop this afternoon, when its focus shifts from rural health to community safety.

*Please see list below of councils taking part.

The following councils are taking part in today's workshop:

Far North Manukau Hauraki Waitomo South Waikato Matamata-Piako Opotiki Taupo Stratford South Taranaki Ruapehu Rangitikei Manawatu South Wairarapa Carterton Tararua Buller Banks Peninsula Ashburton Selwyn Hurunui Waimakariri Gore Southland

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