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Collins' Comments

Collins' Comments

Hon Judith Collins, MP for Papakura

Health targets for Counties Manukau met

Winter ills and accidents are a challenge for everyone, especially the hard-working doctors, nurses and support staff at our public hospital Accident and Emergency Departments. Recent Health figures show the staff in the emergency departments in Counties Manukau are working very hard indeed. They achieved an amazing 97 per cent of emergency department patients being seen, admitted or discharged or transferred within six hours.

Also, Counties Manukau Health has reached its target for helping people to stop smoking by providing advice and support from a primary health care practitioner to 90 per cent of smokers from April to June this year, for the first time.

Advice and support to quit smoking given by a health professional is recognised as one of the most effective ways to get people to give up smoking. Middlemore hospital has achieved its target consistently in the last two years, too.

In addition, the number of people receiving heart and diabetes checks has jumped to 89 per cent of those eligible for monitoring. This is an important step to encourage people to change their lifestyles to improve their overall health if they are at risk.

New Zealanders continue to benefit from many other improvements in health services that are supported by the extra $400 million the National government has invested into health this year.

Social Housing Reform

The need for suitable social housing is a priority for our Government. It is focusing on people and families who need social housing and we are supporting people into housing independence.

Social Housing Reforms objectives include:

• Ensuring people who need housing support from the Government can get it.

• Ensuring social housing is the right size and configuration and in the right place for people in need.

• Encouraging more diverse ownership of social housing. $139 million is available to community housing providers for about 900 new homes to be built across the country.

• Encouraging people with the right resources to become independent by renting or buying a home.

• Increasing the supply of affordable housing.

Using these objectives, the number of people on the Social Housing Register has decreased by 1,299 in the year to June 2015. A number of long term social housing tenants have moved into more suitable housing in the private market and this has freed up over 150 homes for people with urgent needs for social housing.

There will be more tenancy reviews in the next two years to ensure that people have the type of social housing that suits their needs.

The Housing New Zealand maintenance team has made repairs to over 3,000 properties since June last year including the installation of over 1,757 heaters and 3,214 sets of thermal drapes. Carpet has also been installed in 2,102 properties. Better ventilation has been installed in bathrooms and kitchens in over 5000 properties.

Housing New Zealand will also build new homes where they are needed and dispose of properties that are not ‘fit for purpose’. The additional help of approved community housing providers will mean there are between 1000 and 2000 more houses for social housing use in the 2015/16 year and existing tenants with on-going needs will continue to be housed.

Recognising the immediate short term need of some families, $500,000 extra has been allocated for emergency housing to ensure every family has a place to stay.

To keep ahead of the need for social housing, subsidies are to be increased to 65,000 places by 2017/18, costing about $40 million.

These are sensible changes, and the Government wants housing provision and costs to be fair for taxpayers and to result in better outcomes for tenants and local communities.

Board of new school for Takanini appoints principal

It is exciting to be part of a Government that is really making improvements to education and investing in the future by investing in schools. The new school in Walters Road, planned to open in term one in 2017, will be called Takanini New School. Its establishment board, chaired by Daniel Newman, has just announced that Matt Williamson will be the principal. Mr Williamson has a proven record for driving change and achieving success in a school community and will be very welcome in our community.

Congratulations are offered to...

Dr Lee Mathias has been inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs. The Counties Manukau Health Chair has been recognised for her successes and skills in the Health sector.

Hannah Ireland from ACG Strathallan who has won a Top 5 place in an international on-line writing competition called the ‘Dear 2114’ Future Writing contest. There were 13,000 entries in the competition run by Wattpad.

Congratulations to Papakura High School for picking up the Outstanding Physical Education Award from Physical Education New Zealand. Papakura High runs 14 NCEA physical education programmes and aim to lift the academic, sporting and social success of their students using sport as a context for learning.

It is always good to see positive progress in our community and people taking responsibility for their own lifestyles while supporting those who have a genuine need. I am proud of the people and organisations in Papakura who are part of this progress and who offer valuable support to others.

Best wishes,

Hon Judith Collins
MP for Papakura


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