Rural communities

Ian McKelvie: Soaring fuel price hits rural areas hard

[11 October/The Country] The Government continued to price New Zealander’s out of using cars with record high petrol prices. There was a 3.5 excise duty imposed in September, and further 3.5 cent duties would be imposed in 2019 and 2020. Petrol prices had increased around 42 cents per litre after last year’s election. The reality...

New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators Annual Guild Award Winners Announced

[6 October/New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators] The top award was taken out by a joint entry from two experienced New Zealand agricultural journalists at the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators annual awards. Hugh Stringleman and Neal Wallace took out the Ministry for Primary Industries Rongo Award which recognised their...

Mamaku woman: We can’t even get footpaths

[2 October/The Country] Mamaku residents believed they were neglected when it came to provision of basic infrastructure. The council said it had spent more than $4 million on the area in the last few years. Open stormwater drains were a main concern. Resident Deborah Campbell said she had spoken to the Rural Community Board and...

Rising suicide rate prompts funding call

[20 September/Rural Life] Rural leaders want more support given rising suicide rates. Statistics showed suicide rates had increased for the fourth year in a row. Federated Farmers Chief Executive, Terry Copeland, said New Zealand had yet to see the full impact of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. He emphasised the whole industry needs to rally round,...

Rural power isn’t subsidised

[17 September/Farmers Weekly] According to the Electricity Price Review Group, urban power consumers are not subsidising people in rural areas. Providing services to rural areas costs more than to urban streets though most distributor companies did not differentiate between the two sectors. The report suggested other perspectives, such as requiring the use of separate urban...

Tairawhiti region gets $150m in Provincial Growth Fund money

[7 September/The Country] More than $150 million will be provided to the Tairawhiti region from the Government through the Provincial Growth Fund. The funding would go towards developing jobs, transport, infrastructure, and business. The money would be contributed over five years. A connection between the Cook landing site at Kaiti beach and Titirangi Reserve would...

Key announcements Rotorua and Taupo rescue helicopters expected in September

[26 August/The Country] The first announcement around the current tender for national air ambulance services is expected in late September. The announcement would be in relation to Rotorua’s BayTrust Rescue Helicopter. This was the first step towards a 10 year modernisation programme for air ambulances. The process had moved into formal negotiations with preferred tenderers....

Health alliance considers options

[25 July/Farmers Weekly] The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand could still have some options. It provides a united health voice for various rural organisations, and was forced to temporarily close in April when the Government decided not to fund its activities. A board meeting next month could see the group return. Taranaki-King Country National...

Call for rural health to be part of review

[20 June/Rural Life] Chief Executive of the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network, Dalton Kelly, said increased funding for palliative care and for training more rural doctors and nurses, as well as more money to provide medical services to accommodate tourism numbers were things he wanted to see as part of the new review of...

Government policy to be rural-proofed

[13 June/Farmers Weekly] Rural communities would be at the heart of all Government decision making under a new Rural Proofing policy. Minister for Rural Communities, Damien O’Connor, said those living in rural communities could enjoy excellent lifestyles but they faced unique challenged that needed to be reflected in Government policy. He added this year alone...

Minister adds perspective to ‘hysteria’ over declining Govt funding for mental health group

[30 April/NZ Farmer] The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand had received $250,000 annually for the past several years from the Ministry of Health according to Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister, Damien O’Connor. He was responding to claims that the government had caused the winding up of the Rural Health Alliance by refusing to provide...

Spark/TVNZ rugby deal ‘kick in the guts’ for rural NZ

[16 April/NZ Herald] Spark and TVNZ have secured the rights to broadcast the Rugby World Cup next year. The deal was described as a kick in the guts for rural New Zealand as the rights were previously held by Sky TV meaning anyone with a Sky box would have access. The event will be broadcast...

Rural midwife crisis ‘unfair’ for pregnant women

[16 March/Radio NZ] According to Rural Women New Zealand, the number of rural birthing units being downgraded or closed has reached a crisis point. Rural Women New Zealand’s Health Spokesperson, Margaret Pittaway, said the shortage was alarming and that there were at least 72 vacant midwife positions across the country. She added that they have...

Rural med school pledge at risk

[6 March/Rural News] The withholding of $4.5 million that was pledged to help set up a Waikato rural medical school was prompted by short-sightedness and political game-playing by the new government. Philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn pledged the gift for a Waikato medical school with the primary focus of community healthcare in high need communities. Mr...

Action on rural mental health wanted now

[8 February/Rural Life] Rural mental health is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson, said that although there have been positive announcements since the election, rural communities cannot wait for another government inquiry into mental health. They have plans in place, however the...

Chartered accountants training up to help tackle rural stress

[13 February/ Hawkes Bay Today] Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) has run a series of workshops for rural chartered accountants to train them to recognise and support the mental health issues faced by their client.  CAANZ Central North Island regional manager, Neal McDiarmid, said that rural accountants have close relationships with their clients...

Search for the top rural GP practice in NZ beings

[31 January/ The Country] The award for New Zealand’s best Rural General Practice Team of the Year was underway, with the winners to be announced at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s national rural health conference in April. Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson, said that the competition was a...

Rural schools struggle to fill key high school teaching jobs

[7 December/ Radio NZ] Taihape Area School Principal, Richard McMillan said he would not be able to relax over summer because he has been unable to fill key positions for high school teachers at his school. Mr McMillan explained that positions for an English teacher, maths teacher, and a science teacher were advertised months ago,...

New push to tackle rural health issues will support youth at risk of suicide

[1 December/ NZ Herald] The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and Bayer New Zealand have announced a new partnership to support rural youth, especially those at risk from suicide. Other initiatives would include a rural youth health challenge, support of the RuralFest NZ event, and tailored suicide prevention training for veterinary and rural health...

Rural generosity surprises milkers

 [26 September/ Rural News Group] Sharemilkers Christopher and Siobhan O’Malley, did not realise the generosity of New Zealand’s rural communities before the duo begun dairying, as every farmer donated a calf to IHC annually, and livestock donations to local schools were common. IHC Calf and Rural Scheme Coordinator Lynda Young-Kennedy said she expects to have...

Mental health support needed for rural communities

[14 September/ Otago Daily Times] According to the Chief Coroner’s annual suicide statistics, Canterbury has the highest rate of suicide in the country. North Canterbury Rural Support Trust Chairman, Doug Archbold said he would like to see more support in rural schools. Mr Archbold added that Canterbury farming families have had to cope with drought,...

New school of Rural Medicine to deliver 60 doctors a year

[25August/NZ Herald] The government has announced the development of a new school of Rural Medicine with officials being instructed to run a tender process to analyse competing bids to host the school from the University of Waikato and a combined bid from the Universities of Auckland and Otago (which already have schools of medicine). The...

Doctors need connection to rural areas – Clark

[10 August/ NZ Herald] Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark says more effort should be made to encourage medical professionals to work in rural areas. Mr Clark said it was not uncommon for rural areas to struggle to find GPs, and nearly half the GP workforce is due to retire in the next ten years, so...

New national body to represent Rural Support Trusts

[9 May/ New Zealand Government Press Release] Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, has welcomed the election of a national body to represent all 14 Rural Support Trusts. Mr Guy believes a new central body will make these Rural Support Trusts more efficient and effective by providing a single point of contact for Government, and...