[10 April/The Country]

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) agreed it would shut down if it did not receive government funding on Thursday. RHAANZ Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson, said they presented a bid to Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor in November but were yet to receive an answer. She added that more than 600,000 people live in rural New Zealand and that one in every five dollars generated in the economy was either directly or indirectly from the agri-food sector. She noted it didn’t feel like they received adequate resourcing or attention and that rural kiwis had lost their hospitals and schools. They were facing under-funded health and emergency services, midwives and airports. They will meet with Mr O’Connor on Thursday to discuss the government’s funding offer.