Rural communities

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...

Stoush over rural health school idea

[23 March/ Radio NZ] The Auckland and Otago university medical schools are considering creating a national School of Rural Health. However, Waikato University favours a graduate medical school. The University of Auckland’s Medical Programme Head, Professor Warwick Bagg said the proposal would have a nation-wide focus, working with rural communities, including iwi, to keep them...

Extra police to make rural communities safe

[3 February/ Stuff] In his state of nation speech, Prime Minister Bill English, announced a significant uplift in funding for the police service.  In an opinion piece, Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, notes that it is a priority for the government to ensure that rural families and communities are protected.  Of the proposed 880 extra...

Rural suicide prevention policy needed to lower rates

 [11 November/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand has called for a new suicide prevention policy that was specifically designed to address the risk of rural working age men committing suicide. Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand Chairman, Dr Jo Scott-Jones, said there were particular pressures on rural people that...

Education bill may impact rural schools, says Rural Women

 [11 November/ Rural News] Rural Women New Zealand has issued a submission to the Government expressing its concerns about the impact the Education (Update) Amendment Bill would have on rural schools. The Bill proposed some significant changes such as allowing children as young as five years old to receive some or all of their education...

Proposed rurally-focussed medical school wins praise

 [21 October/ Rural News] The Government was currently considering a proposal put forward by the University of Waikato and the Waikato Health Board to establish a new rurally focused medical school in New Zealand. Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson said the organisation welcome the proposal. Ms Thompson added that it...

Rick Powdrell to speak at Taranaki rural crime prevention roadshow

 [17 October/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Federated Farmers Rural Security Spokesman, Rick Powdrell would talk to Taranaki farmers at two rural crime prevention seminars next month. Mr Powdrell said stories from farmers at previous roadshows had shown that recording information about suspicious activity and unfamiliar vehicles and reporting it to police led to arrests. Mr...

Breaking down barriers to knowledge in the rural sector

[10 October/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] A new interactive online community forum, Rural Community, has been launched with the aim of bringing rural people together to share news, views, discuss topics and ask questions. The forum would cover dairy, sheep and beef farming as well as any other farming related discussion topics. The site would...

Old McDonald’s farm takes over Feilding for Wild West Rural Day

 [7 October/ Business Day] Fielding has held its annual Rural Day, with the town’s Manchester Square hosting sheep, goats, pigs, ponies and thousands of visitors. The event had a wild west theme, with guests braving the wet weather in their cowboy hats, boots and jeans. Fielding and District Promotion Project Manager, Raewyn Loader said the...

New Tararua co-ordinator for Rural Support Trust

 [3 October/ NZ Herald] The East Coast Rural Support Trust has appointed Makuri Farmer, Jane Tylee as the new Tararua coordinator. Ms Tylee would replace Bill Wallace who had been the coordinator for the past six years. The East Coast Rural Support Trust was a charitable trust which facilitated support for rural people experiencing personal,...

Rural GP shortage expected as a generation of doctors retire

[3 October/ NZ Herald] The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners said rural areas would be hit by a general practitioner (GP) shortage over the next decade, as nearly half of rural GPs intended to retire over this time. Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Chief Executive, Helen Morgan-Banda said New Zealand didn’t...

People at the heart of a profitable and resilient future for hill country farming

 [12 August/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Waikato University Economics Professor, Frank Scrimgeour said a strong, resilient rural community would ensure an environmentally and economically sustainable future for hill country farming in New Zealand. Mr Scrimgeour said vibrant rural communities were so important to the survival of hill country in New Zealand that establishing a national...