Sue Kedgley is a strong, effective voice on the Capital and Coast District Health Board

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I’m an elected Health Board member, Safe Food campaigner, former MP and Chair of Parliament’s Health select committee and an experienced director, on the boards of Consumer New Zealand and UN Women NZ.

As a long-term champion of good health, I’ve led successful campaigns for healthy hospital and school food, improved aged care and the over-use of antibiotics and consumer and clinical input into decision-making.

Our DHB faces big challenges –financial pressures, increasing demands for health services, ageing infrastructure. To tackle these we need to;

  • Ensure everyone can access affordable healthcare when they need it, especially Maori and Pacifica, residents in Porirua and Kapiti;
  • Focus on keeping people well and tackling the root causes of ill-health such as poverty, poor housing, poor diet;
  • Deliver more innovative healthcare in the community; Invest in public, community, mental health and addiction services;
  • Ensure staff are well paid and well supported; Improve patient safety and reduce the spread of superbugs;
  • Provide better support for our ageing population, and high quality aged, home care;
  • Create world-class children’s hospital and a new home-like birthing unit;
  • Ensure equity for Maori, Pacifika, the disability community and other vulnerable groups;
  • Reduce hospital’s carbon footprint and increase the resilience of our hospital.

Let's prevent our own lobbying scandal

Let's prevent our own lobbying scandal


Britain's cash-for-access episode is proof that NZ must tighten parliamentary rules and introduce a code of ethics. A political scandal in Britain, where five politicians have been caught selling their services to fake lobbyists, begs the question - could a cash-for-access scandal ever happen here? It seems unimaginable that one of our MPs would ask questions in the House, obtain access to ministers or host events in Parliament, in return for cash or other backhanders from lobbyists.

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False economy with hospital food

False economy with hospital food


There must be better ways of saving money in our health system than trying to slash the budget for hospital food. Unhealthy food is the leading cause of ill-health in New Zealand, with many people ending up in hospital as a result of poor eating habits and consuming too much processed, mass-produced, industrial food. That's why giving hospital patients good quality, fresh food should be an integral part of healthcare and helping patients recuperate.

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Bring back school food guidelines

Bring back school food guidelines


Food an important factor in children's ability to learn so government should do right thing and reinstate old rules. The Government's $1.9 million a year contribution to feeding breakfasts to kids in low-decile schools may be modest. But at least it's a start. It's also amounts to a long-overdue admission by the government that what kids eat - or don't eat - has a huge impact on their behaviour in school and their ability to learn. For the past four years the government has been maintaining that what kids eat in school is none of its business.

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Bring back school food guidelines

Bring back school food guidelines


Food an important factor in children's ability to learn so government should do right thing and reinstate old rules. The Government's $1.9 million a year contribution to feeding breakfasts to kids in low-decile schools may be modest. But at least it's a start. It's also amounts to a long-overdue admission by the government that what kids eat - or don't eat - has a huge impact on their behaviour in school and their ability to learn. For the past four years the government has been maintaining that what kids eat in school is none of its business.

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Time to rethink the use of Botox

Time to rethink the use of Botox


This deadly poison is promoted as if it's a routine, safe, procedure but little is known of the long-term effects. I've always wondered why women would inject poison into their faces in an attempt to look younger. It's surprised me, too, that health officials would approve a procedure that involves injecting poison into people's faces three or four times a year.

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Managing stress - let's get flexible

Managing stress - let's get flexible


Employers should encourage different working arrangements among staff to reduce peak-hour congestion. One of the many delights of working from home is that you don't have to wrestle with early-morning rush-hour traffic. While most car commuters begin their day with their blood pressure rising and their frustration levels escalating as they sit helplessly in long traffic queues, those of us who work from home can chill out reading the newspaper, sipping coffee, going for a walk or otherwise limbering up for the working day.

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Government’s refusal to support public health programmes is fuelling our diabetes epidemic

Government’s refusal to support public health programmes is fuelling our diabetes epidemic


One of the National Party's favourite taunts against the former Labour Government was that it was a "Nanny State" government. National MPs seldom missed an opportunity to paint Helen Clark as a "health Nazi" or ridicule Labour's healthy eating policies as examples of "Helen Clark getting into your pantry".

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New food standard not whole package

New food standard not whole package


Forcing manufacturers to prove health claims a start but only traffic light system gives desired info at a glance. If you wander around a supermarket, you'll find all sorts of fanciful health claims on food - claims that consuming certain brands of margarine will lower your cholesterol or that various foods will reduce your risks of developing heart disease or osteoporosis. This is odd because only one health claim is legally permitted on food labels at the moment - namely a claim that folate lowers the risk of neural tube defects in unborn babies.

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Toxic chemical a danger to Wellington

Toxic chemical a danger to Wellington


It's time to question why methyl bromide, a highly toxic and potent ozone-destroying gas, is being routinely used on our waterfront, close to the heart of the city, and near to residential apartments, businesses, Victoria University campus, the stadium and our cruise-ship terminal. Methyl bromide is used to fumigate cars and other imports, and occasionally logs, on the port, but the fumigation process is primitive and the controls are woefully inadequate, and result in residues of methyl bromide wafting around in our environment.

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Future of open government eroded by secret squirrels

Future of open government eroded by secret squirrels


The Government's decision to remove state-funded charter schools and partially privatised state-owned enterprises from coverage of the Official Information Act is an alarming move, and sets a dangerous precedent. It nibbles away at our democracy and threatens to roll back our culture of openness and transparency. If these state-funded organisations are allowed to make all their decisions behind a cloak of secrecy, what other agencies will be next? And if they are able to keep their decisions secret, how will they be held to account?

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