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Clare Thinking

Clare Thinking

Clare Curran, MP for Dunedin South

Shocking standard of hospital food

This month we saw frustrations boil over at the poor standard of hospital food, as angry patients and family members took to Facebook to show photos of the 'food' being served. After the switch to private provider Compass at Dunedin Hospital, the quality of meals has plummeted.

I received a message from a woman whose mother was served food she thought wasn't even fit to feed to her dog.

Labour's Health Spokesperson Annette King took on Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, challenging him to eat the food in Dunedin Hospital on a visit late last week. The Minister claimed the food was edible, but the community has spoken. This is not the food we want to be served to our loved ones, especially those who are recovering in hospital.

Labour will continue to take action on this issue. If you are concerned with the standard of hospital food, and have a story to share please get in touch with me:

Email me:

Or message me on Facebook

South Dunedin rallies after flood devastation

The flooding in South Dunedin had a devastating impact on the community, and at the public meeting on 7 March, the people finally had their chance to speak. It was heartening to see so many people attend, and equally poignant to hear stories of homes and businesses that were affected.

The newly formed South Dunedin Action and Revitalisation Group is ready to work to address these issues. It wants to hear from the council about what they plan to do, to ensure the infrastructure failures that occurred do not happen again. It also wants the council, and anyone else, to develop a longer term constructive plan for South Dunedin.

If you would like to get involved, contact the group on

Refugees to be welcomed to Dunedin

A recent meeting of the Dunedin Refugee Steering Group

The Dunedin community has rallied together to welcome the soon to arrive refugees from Syria, and make them feel at home in their new community. Recently I had the chance to attend a meeting of the Refugee Steering Group and see what some of the amazing people involved were planning.

The community knitters have also come out in full force, and I delivered a huge box to the Red Cross on Monday. After a post on Facebook offering free wool to prospective knitters went up on the Dunedin Welcomes Refugees page, people from throughout the community came by our office to collect wool for their projects. A special mention must be made of the ladies from the Catholic group in Oamaru who produced a huge amount of knitting. All knitting provided was for babies and young children.

Rest assured the newest members of the Dunedin community will be snug come winter.

Greater Green Island Community Group embarks on project:

A community is made great by people like Lynda from the Greater Green Island group. It was great to hear about all the projects they are running to promote community engagement, particularly the survey of the Greater Green Island area. If you are a regular resident of Concord, Green Island, Waldronville, Ocean View, Brighton, Fairfield and Abbotsford, you can fill out the survey here:

Local Legends Profile: Chris Ottley from Pregnancy Help Dunedin

One of the best parts of Dunedin South is the people who make up this community. I am surrounded by people who are hard-working, resilient and kind. This is why I want to shine a spotlight on some of our community members who are truly heroes, so you get a sense of the people behind these great organisations.

First up: Chris from Pregnancy Help Otago

Pregnancy Help Otago provides free and confidential support and information. They provide everything from baby and maternity clothing, to other forms of practical support.

Our office took 5 minutes to sit down with Chris, and find about more about her and her job.

Q: Can you describe what you do in 1 sentence?

Chris: We help people by being part of a community of people that help each other.

Q: What song would best describe your job?

Chris: This is a hard one - but in a round about way I'd say the Maori version of our national anthem as when I hear it sung it makes me immensely proud to be part of New Zealand. So I am immensely proud to be part of such a caring New Zealand.

Q: Why is the work you do so important?

Chris: Our work is important because people need support for a variety of different reasons & there should always be people & groups & services there to provide whatever support is needed.

Q: What trait do you value most in other people?

Chris: Caring.

Q: What is your favourite quote?

Chris: A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

You can contact Pregnancy Help Dunedin:

By email:

Via Facebook:

Do YOU know someone who deserves some recognition for their amazing work? Nominate them here:


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