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.
The Government appears to have quietly added "the intensification of agriculture" to its list of contentious policies it believes will bring new jobs, and economic growth, to New Zealand. Its master strategist, Steven Joyce, signalled this in a speech to the National Party conference. "If New Zealanders want more jobs," he warned, "they should stop being fearful of foreign investment, accept the intensification of agriculture, not forgo oil and mineral exploration ... and do a few things that might make us uncomfortable."
Mr Mallard argues that this committee is too important to be a political plaything, and that someone who is more independent, and not beholden to ministers, should chair it. This is an excellent idea. But why just the finance committee? All of Parliament's select committees are important, and they all need more autonomy. Select committees are supposed to be the engine room of Parliament.
A new law would cut home-grown produce in shops and create a black market, writes Former Green MP Sue Kedgley, a safe-food campaigner. A friend of mine has a magnificent garden on Waiheke Island, and every now and then she sells surplus organic produce to the local fruit and vegetable shop.
We are still waiting, a year later, for the Minister of Agriculture to announce a new Code of Welfare to Hens. I predict that he will ignore the vast majority of submitters who called for an end to the cruel practice of keeping hens in cages, and will instead approve a new code that says hens can be kept indefinitely in ‘colony’ cages –cages that sound a bit better than a battery hen cage, but which still give a hen around the size of an A-4 sheet of paper in usable space.
*/ All around the world people are questioning the relevance of political institutions, and public cynicism is growing, not only with politicians, but with the whole political system. In America, the Occupy Wall Street movement is calling for a clean-up of the American political system, which they say is corrupted by lobbyists and by dysfunctional and bitter partisanship.
Two years ago, Food Standards Australia New Zealand set up an expert panel to look at our food labels, and how they could be improved. The panel came up with 61 excellent and wide-ranging recommendations for improving our labels--improved allergy labelling, disclosure of palm oil, trans fat, traffic light labels etc But unfortunately, our government has rejected most of them It says mandatory labelling ‘conflicts with our free trade liberalisation agenda,’ and could be perceived to be an ‘unfair trading barrier.’
There is growing concern about the health effects of electromagnetic radiation, particularly new technologies such as wifi. Growing numbers of people are becoming electromagnetic sensitive and Sweden recognises electromagnetic sensitivity as a recognised disease. There is no requirement for new technologies like wifi to be safety tested before they are rolled out. The present standards on electromagnetic sensitivity are far too lax and dont take into account health effects, as exposed by the important BioInitiatives Report.