News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Proposed Drinking Water Solutions Need Careful Due Diligence

Proposed Drinking Water Solutions Need Careful Due Diligence


The Public Health Association of New Zealand (PHA) welcomes the Stage 2 report of the Havelock North drinking water inquiry, but has concerns about some of its recommendations.

PHA CEO Warren Lindberg says that while criticism of the Ministry of Health’s performance may be justified, it was not the only agency at fault.

“What we have here is the failure of a complex system dependent on a range of diverse entities, so the solution might not be simply to establish another Crown entity. We’re also concerned to avoid handing the State’s responsibilities over to its commercial partners.”

Lindberg says criticisms of the Ministry's inadequate staffing, enforcement and technical capacity come after a decade of deliberate reduction of funding and staffing for public health services.

“The inquiry concludes that the Ministry of Health has inadequate capacity to maintain the effective leadership expected of it but does not explore the reasons why its capacity is so limited.

“We can infer from comments by the Director General and others in paragraphs 96 and 97 of the report that there’s a degree of complacency within the Ministry. ‘Red flags’ are said to have been raised but we expect that the Ministry’s annual reports from 2009-2016 would have raised sufficient ‘red flags’ about under-resourcing for an astute chief executive and a concerned Minister to have noticed and sought answers.

Lindberg says there can be no guarantee that an ‘independent’ Drinking Water Regulator will be any better than the Ministry of Health unless it is driven by commitment to public health values of equity and service and is not subject to the same deliberate parsimony of resources as the Ministry has endured for the last 9 years.

“One of the fundamental principles for drinking water safety management identified by the Inquiry states that Change precedes contamination. This principle applies not only to changes in the physical environment but also to changes in governance and personnel.

“Government would be unwise to hastily introduce structural change to a complex system without careful and thorough due diligence.”


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland