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What are the big concerns affecting the health of your community? Will your District Health Board candidates policies and promises improve community health and well being? To find out, we need to ask hard questions on the big issues.

At the National Conference in Christchurch we got the ball rolling with a workshop with John Ayling chairman of the Access Homehealth board. Access’s priorities are the clients whom they serve and the homecare workforce. There will be other issues unique to your community that you could challenge the candidates on.

Here are some hard questions for you to ask the candidates at the meet the candidates meeting.

Shorter stays in hospital

Most District Health Boards have a policy for limiting a person’s stay in hospital by sending them home with a care plan. This is clearly a cost saving to the hospital but in particular in rural areas the funding of that care plan falls short of costs to provide the patient with safe care. One example is the travel costs for homecare workers not being met or at best at a reduced rate, contracts that expect the maximum service for minimum funding are putting providers at risk and also creating barriers for the best possible patient care by a highly trained and skilled workforce.

Questions

  1. What will you do influence policy decisions with regard to passing on Government travel policy funding to rural home care workers and what guarantees do you give that the DHB will ensure its budget builds in additional funding for travel for the rural homecare workforce with the offset being greater savings made by reducing patient time in hospital?
  2. Do you think it is the DHB's responsibility to implement (fund and resource) the Govt's policies around early release (eg Crest) and people ageing in their own homes?

Maternity Health

The Government has funded DHBs throughout the country $38 million to resource new mothers in the immediate post natal period to stay longer in a maternity unit. Publicity suggests that a number of DHB's are asking new mothers to take early discharge without advising them of their rights to stay in longer to establish confident mother/baby relationships and skills.

Question

What will you do to ensure that your DHB uses the allocated funding for the purpose it was intended and will your board actively inform new mothers of their right to stay longer if they wish?


Mental Health

The rise in mental health issues in farmers is causing alarm The suicide rate is over 15 per 100,000 where as in other communities the figure is much lower (around 10 per 100,000.) Adverse events create additional stress and while the community is resourceful it also needs the support of the local DHB. While the Rural Support Trusts and rural based NGOs provide sterling service during adverse events it is heavily dependent on volunteer support by people who are also affected by the same event.

Questions

  1. How will you encourage your DHB to invest more in mental health in particular in the farming population.
  2. Will you support the investment in a directly funded policy to respond mental health impacts during and post adverse events when mental reserves are stretched.

Nurse Practitioners

"Nurse Practitioners provide the ideal model for innovative and quality health care in rural communities" - stated by the Minister of Health in 2002 in a foreword to the Ministry of Health Report – Nurse Practitioners in New Zealand.


It was further noted in the report, "...that much responsibility now rests with the DHBs, who will implement the role. They are encouraged to create a working environment .... that will ensure a sustainable and well-utilised nurse practitioner workforce."

Question

Does your forward planning for rural and community settings include ensuring sufficient nurse practitioners in place to maintain rural services and access?


Funding for Home Support That Is Funding Other Services

Successive Governments have provided additional funding to DHBs for home support services for older people, only to see this funding diverted by DHB’s into funding other services.

Question

What will you do to guarantee that your DHB will commit the funding increases it receives from Government, including those for inflation adjustments, are specifically passed on to homecare service providers?

 

A frequently asked question is why health care assistants with equivalent qualifications to a homecare worker earn more if they are directly employed by a DHB.

Question

Do you support home support workers having equal pay with health care assistants, with equivalent qualifications, that are employed directly by DHB’s?

 

We were pleased to see $20 million allocated over four years in the budget in May 2013. Concern has been expressed that this allocation to DHBs may not be directed to the homecare support as per the intent of the budget.

Question

What guarantee can you give that the DHB will fully utilise the additional funding provided in the budget directly for home care support?

Supplementary question

What strategies does your party have in place to address the fact that New Zealand young women have one of the highest suicide rate in the OECD (4th according to WHO)?

 

Please contact Noeline Holt at National Office, or your Regional Councillor if you would like any advice/support on issues of concern to you. This is your opportunity to ensure candidates know the issues.

District Health Board Elections: Hard Questions

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What are the big concerns affecting the health of your community? Will your District Health Board candidates policies and promises improve community health and well being? To find out, we need to ask hard questions on the big issues. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand welcomes news that the re-appointment of a Minister of Rural Affairs is back on the political agenda.

The position was axed three years ago, leaving many rural people without a direct voice in Parliament.

“Only 14% of the population who identify themselves as rural actually work in agriculture,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Liz Evans.

“We don’t believe the interests of the other 86% of the rural population can be realistically and effectively represented by a Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity, who already has a huge and specific workload.

“We were assured three years ago that rural community interests would be addressed by other Ministries, but often rural concerns seem to be marginalised and wait listed. As a result, Rural Women New Zealand still sees the need for the reinstatement of a Minister of Rural Affairs.”

Our brief to the Minister would be to safeguard the wider rural perspective in all legislation and to champion rural issues to the whole of government by encouraging rural impact assessments on all legislation and policy.


Rural Women NZ says time to bring back Minister of Rural Affairs

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rural Women New Zealand welcomes news that the re-appointment of a Minister of Rural Affairs is back on the political agenda. Read More

 Next year’s referendum gives you the chance to have your say on the voting system you'd like to use to elect our Parliaments in the future.

You will be asked two questions:

  • whether you want to keep MMP (which is the voting system we use at the moment) or whether you want to change to another voting system; and

  • which of four other voting systems you would choose if NZ decides to change from MMP.

    Article from Bulletin Aotearoa - November Issue.   

    Voting Systems on Offer

All these system have 120 Members of Parliament - but the number of electorates in each system can differ. Read on…

MMP – Mixed Member Proportional: In this (NZ’s current system) there 70 electorates, (both Maori and General). Each electorate elects one MP, called an Electorate MP. The other 50 MPs are elected from political party lists and are called List MPs.

Each voter gets two votes. The first vote (the party vote) is for the political party the voter chooses and largely decides the total number of seats each political party gets in Parliament. The second vote (the electorate vote) is to choose the MP the voter wants to represent the electorate they live in. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. They do not have to get more than half the votes.

Currently, a political party that wins at least one electorate seat or 5% of the party vote gets a share of the seats in Parliament that is about the same as its share of the party vote (if a party gets 30% of the party vote it will get roughly 36 MPs in Parliament, and if it wins 20 electorate seats it will have 16 List MPs as well as its 20 Electorate MPs).

Coalitions or agreements between political parties are usually needed before Governments can be formed.

FPP - First Past the Post: in this there are 120 electorates, including the Maori electorates, and each elects one MP.

Each voter has one vote to choose the MP they want to represent the electorate they live in. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. They do not have to get more than half the votes.

The winning party usually wins a share of the seats in Parliament larger than its share of all the votes across the country. Smaller parties usually receive a smaller share of seats than their share of all the votes.

A government can usually be formed without the need for coalitions or agreements between parties.

PV - Preferential Voting: there are 120 electorates, including the Maori electorates, elects one MP.

Each voter ranks the candidates – 1, 2, 3, etc – in the order they prefer them. A candidate who gets more than half of all the first preference “1” votes wins. If no candidate gets more than half the first preference votes, the candidate with the fewest “1” votes is eliminated and their votes go to the candidates each voter ranked next. This continues until one candidate has more than half the votes.

The winning party usually wins a share of the seats in Parliament larger than its share of all the votes across the country. It is hard for smaller parties to win seats in Parliament, but votes for smaller party candidates may influence who wins the seat because of second, third, etc preferences.

A government can usually be formed without the need for coalitions or agreements between parties.

STV - Single Transferable Vote: in this system each electorate (including the Maori electorates) has more than one MP. It is likely the 120 MPs would be divided between 24 and 30 electorates, each with 3 to 7 MPs.

Each voter has a single vote that is transferable. Voters rank the candidates (1, 2, 3, etc) in the order they prefer, OR they can vote for the order published in advance by the political party of their choice.

MPs are elected by receiving a minimum number of votes, known as the quota. This is based on the number of votes in each electorate and the number of MPs to be elected. Candidates who reach the quota from first preference votes are elected. If there are still electorate seats to fill, firstly the votes the elected candidates received beyond the quota are transferred to the candidates ranked next on those votes. Candidates who then reach the quota are elected. Then, if there are still electorate seats to fill, the lowest polling candidate is eliminated and their votes are transferred to the candidates ranked next on those votes. These steps are repeated until all the seats are filled.

The number of MPs elected from each political party usually mirrors the party’s share of all the votes across the country.

Coalitions or agreements between political parties are usually needed before governments can be formed.

SM - Supplementary Member: there are 90 electorates in this one (including the Maori electorates). Each elects one MP, called an Electorate MP. The other 30 seats are called supplementary seats. MPs are elected to these seats from political party lists and are likely to be called List MPs.

Each voter gets two votes. The first vote is to choose the MP the voter wants to represent the electorate they live in. This is called the electorate vote. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. They do not have to get more than half the votes. The second vote is for the political party the voter chooses. This is called the party vote. The share of the 30 supplementary seats each party gets reflects its share of the party vote (if a party gets 30% of the party vote, it will get about 9 List MPs in Parliament, no matter how many electorate seats it wins). This makes SM different from MMP where a party’s share of all 120 seats mirrors its share of the party vote.

One or other of the major parties would usually have enough seats to govern alone, but coalitions or agreements between parties may sometimes be needed.



The Referendum: Choose Your Voting System

Friday, November 11, 2011

 Next year’s referendum gives you the chance to have your say on the voting system you'd like to use to elect our Parliaments in the future. Read More

RWNZ members from Marlborough are hosting a 'Meet the Candidates' evening this Wednesday 9 November, 7:30pm at the Giesen Sports Centre in Renwick. All candidates have a copy of our 'Hard Questions' - head along to see what they have to say!

Candidates present include:

Colin King - National 

Liz Collyns - Labour

Steffan Browning - Greens

Richard Evans - Act

Meet the Candidates in Marlborough

Monday, November 07, 2011

RWNZ members from Marlborough are hosting a 'Meet the Candidates' evening this Wednesday 9 November, 7:30pm at the Giesen Sports Centre in Renwick. All candidates have a copy of our 'Hard Questions' - head along to see what they have to say! Read More

We’ve produced some ‘hard questions’ that you can use as a basis for voicing rural concerns during ‘meet the candidates’ events, and as a basis for developing your own questions.

We’ve also produced (and printed) a manifesto (which we can supply copies of). This will be useful post-election as well, when we begin to advocate for RWNZ issues with our newly elected representatives. Click here to see our Manifesto and hard questions page on our website, or contact Belinda enquiries@ruralwomen.org.nz to receive printed copies.


Interested in what the main parties see as the key issues for NZ agriculture? View this interview by Country 99TV.


“1,2,3,4 What are We Fighting For?” – Elections 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We’ve produced some ‘hard questions’ that you can use as a basis for voicing rural concerns during ‘meet the candidates’ events, and as a basis for developing your own questions.  Read More

RWNZ National Council had a trial run of some of their hard questions when the Minister of Health, the Hon Tony Ryall, visited the recent National Council meeting. Contrary to expectation, the Minister did not use time to talk exclusively about party politics. In fact, after the introductions, he sat down at the table and asked us what we wanted to talk about.

The Council asked him specifically to review the effectiveness of the  2007 Fair Travel Policy for home support workers who have to use their  vehicles to travel to  clients in rural areas with very limited recompense (about 20c per km).  Few, if any, other workers in New Zealand are required to self fund travelling between various  places of work several times per day.

Mr Ryall said he would re-evaluate the policy and asked for some specific examples of support workers who have been disadvantaged.

He was asked to make home based support services, often the Cinderella area of health funding and status, higher up on the priority list, especially when considering inflation price adjustments.  He said he would look at it if re-elected.

Other topics covered  during the  hour-plus meeting included the need for more support for rural-based midwives, the advances in technology related dementia care, and  rural dental health which Mr Ryall said is increasingly becoming a major problem for the over 65’s age group, as well as for rural children.

The Minister’s future specific targets included shorter waiting times for elective surgery, cancer treatment and emergency department consults; a 90% immunisation rate for 2 year-olds, affordable stop smoking programmes and more focus on cardio vascular disease and diabetes.

As he left the Rural Women New Zealand office complete with a  pair of Corporate Aftersocks, Mr Ryall thanked Rural Women New Zealand  “for all that you do”.

RWNZ Council asks Hon Tony Ryall the Hard Questions

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

RWNZ National Council had a trial run of some of their hard questions when the Minister of Health, the Hon Tony Ryall, visited the recent National Council meeting. Contrary to expectation, the Minister did not use time to talk exclusively about party politics. In fact, after the introductions, he sat down at the table and asked us what we wanted to talk about.

 Read More

Read All NewsRecent news

Mary McTavish, our national councillor for Bay of Plenty Coromandel, recently presented a cheque for $2000 to Te Ranga school – the first of 10 gardening grants being given to rural schools this year with funds raised from the Farmlands Ladies Nights.

Acting Principal, Janet Blaauw, said, "I would just like to say a HUGE thank you for the gardening grant that our school received from Rural Women NZ. You all do a fabulous job of helping out rural areas!"

Mary told the pupils at a special assembly,  "I am most impressed with what you have already achieved in your school garden.  Clearly there are some expert gardeners among you and I'm very pleased Te Ranga School won this year as you are already demonstrating your keen interest in growing and harvesting your produce.”

The school will purchase new irrigation equipment and gardening tools with its grant.

The gardens will also get a boost thanks to sponsorship from Agrisea, which is contributing a generous quantity of their organic fertiliser product to the winning schools.

There's a real focus in schools on children learning the value of eating fresh food and understanding where it comes from, and we're very pleased to be able to support this, especially as we celebrate the UN International Year of Family Farming.

This is the fourth time Rural Women NZ and Farmlands have worked together to distribute the proceeds from the popular Farmlands Ladies Nights.

Other successful schools this year were Swannanoa, Waitahuna, Waihao Downs, Hororata, Mangamuka, Te Ranga, Kimbolton, Ahititi, Tahuna and Papanui, chosen from 58 applicants.

Projects lined up range from building a tunnel house to constructing a hen pen, buying equipment such as rakes, spades, seeds and plants, and building a permaculture edible food forest.

Farmlands' Events and Sponsorship Manager, Helen Shrewsbury says the company is proud to continue its support of Rural Women New Zealand and the rural school garden grants. 

“As a rural co-operative, it just makes sense for us to support the schools that make up the hubs of the rural communities we service.”



Rural Women NZ's letter box sticker competition is helping show our support for violence-free families.

The competition is being run in partnership with the national It’s Not OK Campaign.

People can show they support violence-free families by posting a sticker on their letter box encouraging us all to make our communities safer. 

Then enter our competition by sending in a photo of your letter box with the sticker on it, just like the one sent in here by one of member Wendy Knight.

Did you know ...

In New Zealand 39% of women in rural areas and 33% in urban areas will experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime
Half of all murders and 58% of violent crime in New Zealand is family violence
Police are called to a family violence incident every six minutes but estimate only 20% of incidents are ever reported.

Family violence can be hard to detect in rural communities where houses are far apart and victims can be more easily isolated from family and friends than in built up areas.

“It can be easy to say ‘It’s not my business’ if we are worried that violence might be happening to someone we know.  But family violence is a crime and should be reported,” says national president, Wendy McGowan.

“As members of Rural Women NZ we can take leadership on this issue.  We can use our profile in our communities to bring this serious social issue out into the open.”

“Friends and family are usually the first people to see the signs of violence in the home and we encourage people to offer help – safely – if they are concerned.

“We say it’s better to be wrong than sorry, so act on your gut instinct.  We don’t recommend intervening in a violent situation, but do recommend asking for help or advice or reaching out at a quiet time.”

Violence is not just physical, it’s psychological, sexual, financial and emotional. Below are some signs that violence is happening in a family relationship.

A victim may be:

fearful, nervous
isolated, doesn't want you coming round
worried about their partner's reaction

A child may be:

fearful
silent and withdrawn
aggressive
unusually well behaved

A perpetrator may be:

controlling their partner and children
making all the decisions
jealous and possessive
controlling finance

The It’s not OK website has more information for family and friends.

The Rural Women NZ letterbox sticker and awareness campaign will run throughout 2014. Contact national office if you'd like a supply of stickers for your community.

Rural Women New Zealand members have organised some great events for Adult Learners Week in September.

Tamahere (Waikato) - chainsaw day

Awana (Great Barrier) - prostate and health issues day

Moa Flat (Otago) - workshop on Iriens

Beaumont-Tuapeka (Southland) - whanau fun day of workshops

Central Taranaki - education changes in primary schools; how parents and grandparents can help

Southland Interprovincial - IT skills day

Rukuhia (Waikato) - IT skills day

Onewhero (Auckland) - communications and leadership day

Pakawau - first aid refresher course

For more information contact Mary Gavigan, ACE Aotearoa



Adult Learners' Week events

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rural Women New Zealand members have organised some great events for Adult Learners Week in September. Read More

Doubtless Bay Branch has undertaken a fantastic project helping Peria School in 2014 to help achieve its vision of expanding its sustainable culture to generating its own electricity. This will hopefully free up funds to expand its curriculum to include more science equipment, formal music and art tuition, and heating its pool so it can be used by the whole community year round.

 

On Monday, 23rd June, Peria School in the far north became the very first North Island school to be solar powered. The switch on was officiated by Dr Russell Norman who was most impressed by the communities can-do attitude that facilitated this achievement without government assistance. 

 

Featured in the photo above are Doubtless Bay Branch members Joan Petherick, Pat Shephard, Lois Garton and Gail Garton with Dr. Russell Norman. Featured below right is Dr. Russell Norman addressing the students, staff and guests at the 1872 Peria school with the new solar panels.

 

You can read more on the project from the NZ Herald here.

Doubtless Bay local project 2014

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Doubtless Bay Branch has undertaken a fantastic project helping Peria School in 2014 to help achieve its vision of expanding its sustainable culture to generating its own electricity. This will hopefully free up funds to expand its curriculum to include more science equipment, formal music and art tuition, and heating its pool so it can be used by the whole community year round. Read More

Northland has been dealt a severe blow from adverse weather over the last couple of weeks and we know some of you wish to help those who've suffered losses, even from afar.

As we know from past events, it isn’t just now that assistance will be needed and appreciated.  It is later once the clean-up is finished that the effect of the stress may show itself.  It’s well documented that such adverse events lead to a spike in family violence, while some people may suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder later.

Northland is an area with a large number of lower socio-economic communities that are less well-resourced financially to cope when disaster strikes.

We aim to assist people under stress in the region now, and to help reduce the impacts further down the track, by:

• sharing information about support available, including the “It’s OK to Ask for Help” campaign
• promoting and supporting Mental Health 101 courses (or similar) being specifically organised for the region
• working with other agencies to find out where help is needed
• organising community get-togethers, morning teas, bbqs etc to de-stress and share information
• raising funds to distribute to those with specific needs

Northland appeal:  If you’d like to donate to our Rural Women NZ Northland Appeal, please deposit funds into Bank Account 06 0493 0317603 00 (Kaurilands RWNZ) or post cheques to Rural Women NZ, PO Box 12-021, Thorndon, Wellington (donations are tax deductible). 

Our Regional Management Team will work with local agencies and support groups in the area to identify where the funds are needed most.

If any members are in need of help, or you know of somebody in need of support, please get in touch with our Top of the North regional councillor, Fiona Gower

 

With the calving season upon us, we thought this lovely recipe for Cowshed Buns from Lorna Bayly at our Stratford Branch, was a perfect one to share.

 

You might just need another quick and easy recipe to whip up over the weekend! You can find more recipes like this in our new book, A Good Baking Day.

 

Cowshed Buns

Ingredients

250 g butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 dssp golden syrup

2 eggs

1 cup sultanas

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 170 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all ingredients well and place spoonfuls onto the baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

 

*photo is from recipe on baby world uk

Cowshed Buns

Friday, July 04, 2014

With the calving season upon us, we thought this lovely recipe for Cowshed Buns from Lorna Bayly at our Stratford Branch, was a perfect one to share.  Read More