Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Oops! Local Mp Slips On Banana Skin

Oops! Local Mp Slips On Banana Skin

How long a few days can be in politics!

Just a fortnight ago, Napier MP Russell Fairbrother was saying he had 'no problem' putting the 'good idea' of using Arohaina, on the Hospital Hill site, as part of a 'cottage hospital', to Minister of Health Annette King.

His only requirement was that this be on the agenda of our Group. 'I will do so with enthusiasm', he said, 'if the group specify this type of facility and not a full-blown hospital being re-opened'.

We were delighted to reply immediately that we accepted this proposal. A "cottage" or "community" hospital, not conflicting with but supporting the regional hospital, has been our agenda for many months, as is clear from what we have said and written and from our media releases across that time. We believe Arohaina and the Tower Block should provide plenty of space as the permanent basis for Napier's health services - rent free.

Now, just a fortnight later, the MP has changed his ground. The issues of the level of services in Napier and from where they should be delivered are, he says, "questions for the district health board to determine".

So what has happened to his undertaking to put the 'good idea' to the Minister? Where has his 'enthusiasm' suddenly vanished?

Surely it could not be that Mr Fairbrother was just trying to put us on the spot, and was surprised by the positive response he received?

The issue of whether Napier can keep some health services into the future is too important for playing politics. We want to work with our MP on this.

But this is the second time he has changed his ground: the views he expressed before the election have long since been trashed.

This time, we ask him to deliver. It's high time we had a positive lead from our local representative in Wellington. To start with, Napier needs a proper, full consultation on its health services - the consultation it was denied by National in the 1990s.

The buck cannot be passed to the District Health Board. Its members know only too well the intense pressure they are constantly put under from Wellington. Yes, the Board does need to be party to negotiations on the precise services to be delivered. But what we are talking about here is high policy driven from Wellington. The Government cannot evade the responsibility. Nor can the local MP.

Our own understanding is that cabinet decisions have already been made in Wellington. We call on Mr Fairbrother to come clean on what those decisions are, when they were made, and how they can have been made when consultation with the WAI 692 claimants is barely under way, and Napier as a whole has had no valid health consultation at all.

And we call on him to do what he promised, and 'enthusiastically' advocate with Annette King for using Arohaina on the Hospital Hill site as part of a 'cottage hospital'.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. 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>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election