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


International study no reason for complacency

13 January 2006

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

International study no reason for complacency

An international study says there's a medium-level risk that New Zealand could not cope with a bird flu pandemic. Overall though, the British report rates New Zealand's pandemic risk as low.

But National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall warns there's no room for complacency.

He is commenting on a study by risk consultancy firm Maplecroft. A global survey uses World Health Organisation data to calculate the hazards that a pandemic would pose to individual countries and regions.

The study rates New Zealand as low risk in terms of emergence within our borders, at medium risk of spread to and within New Zealand, and at medium risk of incapacity to contain an outbreak. Each of these three factors is weighted 30%, 30% and 40% respectively to make a Pandemic Risk Index.

"The report rates Australia as better able to contain an outbreak than New Zealand, though Australia is seen to be at greater risk of the spread of bird flu," says Mr Ryall.

"The good news is both Australia and New Zealand are overall in the low risk category of the Pandemic Risk Index. New Zealand has a rating of 7.7, slightly more at risk than Australia, with a rating of 9.1.

"We could still be better prepared though. We could improve our capacity to contain an outbreak. There are still major gaps in this Government's pandemic planning.

"If those gaps were sorted out, we could lower the risk even further and match Australia.

"The major gaps involve how the sick will be treated at home, supplies of essential medicines like insulin, and overall leadership.

"We don't know whether this bird flu outbreak will cause a pandemic and come to New Zealand. But flu pandemics will occur again in future as in the past, so we must be prepared. The Government must not be complacent," says Mr Ryall.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election