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


Speech: Peters -Prostate Awareness Support Society



Embargoed Until Delivery

2:00 pm Sunday
13 June 1999

SPEECH: Rt Hon Winston Peters MP
MP for Tauranga
Leader of New Zealand First

(Extracts from an Address by the Rt Hon Winston Peters MP to the Prostate Awareness Support Society, Buretta Park Motor Inn, Vale Street, TAURANGA)

It is an unfortunate fact of life that many New Zealand men do not look after themselves.

They place themselves at risk physically when they are young through alcohol, drugs, cars and activities based on the philosophy that "I am young, strong and indestructible - it can't happen to me!"

It is also a known fact that, on average, men usually die younger than women in this country.

It happens for a variety of reasons - but one cause of these premature deaths is prostate cancer and all New Zealand men should be grateful for your Support Society which was formed to help sufferers and their families.

Statistics indicate that there will probably be between five and six hundred deaths this year as a result of prostate cancer.

That means that, in statistical terms, 10 or 12 Kiwi males will die this week from the disease.

How many of them would have lived if the disease had been picked up in its early stages?

A considerable number according to figures that show that one out of every ten men gets an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and 3 per cent of those will die from it.

In terms of human suffering and loss, we simply cannot afford statistics like this and more has to be done to detect and treat the disease as early as possible.

New Zealand First believes firmly in the principles of preventative medicine.

That is why we have pushed for Hepatitis B and Diabetes screening programmes.

We also strongly endorse the screening programmes aimed at detecting breast cancer and cervical cancer in women.

These are quite rightly free services and it would appear perfectly logical to introduce a similar free service to males at risk from prostate cancer.

It would appear logical that your organisation could assist health authorities with an outline of what is needed.

We are aware that the Cancer Society does not recommend across the board testing, because the physical examination and (PSA) blood tests are not always accurate, and can suggest cancer when none is present.

However, we also know that many of your members have contracted aggressive prostate cancer and have shown NO symptoms.

Most New Zealand men do not usually head to the doctor unless there is something seriously wrong.

Quite often their problems are detected too late.

We need to make men more aware of the dangers of prostate cancer and get them to do something about their problems.

At the moment there is a cost for the GP visit - and in some areas there is also a cost for the blood test.

We believe that the cost could be a barrier to some men going to the doctor so it is only fair that the test should be universally available, and should be free.

There has to be a commitment to make men aware - and the funds must be made available for this.

New Zealand First will make these funds available after the next election, when we are again in a position to do so.

After all, we did get free medical treatment for the under sixes, despite strong opposition from our coalition partner, and for Hepatitis B screening - despite the politicking!

Spending money on an awareness programme for prostate cancer, and paying for examinations would be another sound investment.

At the moment we are spending too much money on the bureaucrats in the health system instead of investing in public health.

The Health Funding Authority, which allocates funds for the public health system, is spending a fortune on new offices, staff salaries and consultants in Wellington.

This is a major problem at the moment. Too many health bureaucrats are in business for themselves instead of being in the business of providing a health service for New Zealanders.

Only this week we learned that we have a disgracefully low level of immunisation for our children, and that we are heading for a measles epidemic.

We have also had a meningitis epidemic for several years.

These are Third World diseases - and while our children suffer from them, the Health Funding Authority bureaucrats are spending a thousand dollars each on new chairs for their new yuppie offices.

Their days are numbered.

New Zealand First will be releasing comprehensive health policies to attack these problems over the next few months.

We will have one unified national health strategy and a streamlined system to deliver it.

It will strongly support preventative medicine - and that includes strong support for self help organisations like your own, and a free screening programme that is available for those who choose to use it.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


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>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news