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Māori Party Calls for Northland Whānau to Be Vigilant

Māori Party Candidate Supports Calls for Northland Whānau to Be Vigilant

Maori Party’s Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Te Hira Paenga shares the concerns of Dr Lance O’Sullivan about the potential for a major measles outbreak in Northland.

Health professionals around the country have been concerned with the high level of measles, particularly in the Waikato and Auckland areas. Now that there’s been a reported case in Northland, the risk is probably greater than any other part of the country.

Te Hira Paenga says Northland has one of the lowest rates of immunisation rates and coupled many whānau living in sub-standard housing the situation is definitely cause for alarm.

“The Māori Party fought to have free GP visits and free prescribed medicines for children under 13 so I urge Te Tai Tokerau whānau who have unwell children to get them checked immediately.

“In an ideal world, we would like to have a hundred Dr O’Sullivans’ working in our communities but we haven’t, so the least we can do is to continue our investment in rheumatic fever prevention, public awareness campaigns and maintaining momentum with our Healthy Homes initiative, which all directly relate to our whānau in Northland,” says Mr Paenga.

Dr Lance O’Sullivan who was named New Zealander of the Year 2014, has publicly endorsed the Māori Party in the lead up to the General Election. The Northland doctor says health issues are very closely linked to political influence and he’s no stranger to taking bold steps to help the vulnerable.

“My willingness to publically endorse the Māori Party by fronting some of their billboards is an example of going out on a limb to demonstrate something I feel strongly about and something I’ve had positive feedback from,” says Dr O’Sullivan.

Te Hira Paenga says the Māori Party is extremely grateful for Dr O’Sullivan’s endorsement and will continue to support the Health Innovation Fund that focuses on outcomes increasing understanding and support of health literacy through research; resources and programmes for health professionals and the public.

ENDS

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