Letters : Wairau Hospital services

00:34, Feb 21 2013

Wairau Hospital

Regarding future services at Wairau Hospital, the lack of public comment by hospital staff and elected board members has been surprising. Perhaps they have been gagged.

The drip feeding of information and lack of public consultation has been disappointing and sadly hints at self interest.

It now appears the preferred option for surgical services is to provide cover between 8am and 4pm on week days only.

Presumably the surgeons and anaesthetists would be resident in Nelson and would travel to Blenheim to provide simple day case surgery and to run outpatient clinics. No major procedures, either elective or acute, would be done at Wairau as there would be no after-hours cover to deal with any serious post-op complication.

The fact that the current review applies only to services provided at Wairau (apart from the emergency department) and excludes all services to Nelson Hospital is an insult to this district.


On a pro rata basis, one-third of the funds and resources available to the Nelson Marlborough DHB should be allocated to Wairau Hospital. Surgical services should be strengthened and not diminished.

Consideration should be given to relocating some of the specialist clinics at Nelson to Wairau Hospital and our neighbours in Nelson should accept that they may need to travel to Blenheim for some of their treatment.

Once acute surgical services have been axed at provincial hospitals, the New Zealand experience would suggest that these services are unlikely to ever be reinstated.



Water pollution

Picton's new sewage pipe outfall into Queen Charlotte Sound is capable of 400 litres of sewage per second, or 1440 cubic metres per hour. Hello - where are the Save Our Sounds people?

We have been subjected to 12 months of how fish waste will pollute the Sounds. The whole marine environment has been subject to fish poo for a billion or more years and has never been a problem. Over the summer, rivers and marine areas have been ruled as no swimming or drinking due to human pollution. It makes one think that the Save Our Sounds people are looking at the wrong culprit.



School ‘bullying'

Many of Christchurch's citizens are still suffering from the earthquake and the aftershocks. Many are still living in substandard conditions. Nerves are still frayed and life is difficult.

Then just when the dust is beginning to settle comes the restructure of education. Schools have been the constant in the lives of the young children and have helped get their lives back on track. Days spent with teachers and pupils they know.

Why inflict this new change on the children, parents and teachers? This puts more stress on parents to buy new uniforms, sort out transport problems and stress on the children to make new friends, adapt to a new school and new teachers.

Why not get Christchurch back up and running to full capacity, people housed properly then find out if schools need to be closed or merged. Why commit to building 15 new schools when there are adequate teaching facilities at present and inadequate housing.

With unemployment soaring, why add to it by making teachers redundant.

Surely ensuring the citizens of Christchurch have adequate housing and basic facilities should be a higher priority. Maybe, too, the Government could really try and sort out Novopay as well.

As Dr Bruce Bryant said in his book A Small Window, it only takes a small window of opportunity for those in authority to make changes, to introduce agendas that many in the community would find unacceptable. In this instance, the citizens of Christchurch who are affected by school restructuring.

It really appears to me to be a form of bullying.



Rough crossing

A letter from Cran Julian [Marlborough Express, February 18] makes the point that "the Clifford Bay terminal is an excellent idea as there is less time travelling Cook Strait, especially when it is rough".

Let's analyse this. For one thing, the journey to Clifford Bay will involved a greater distance in open water than the present route, in which an hour is in the shelter of the Sounds (approximately 49km versus 64km).

Secondly, the rough weather is predominantly from the south in Cook Strait and so the voyage to Clifford Bay will be into the sea, rather than across it. The stabilisers in modern ships appear to be very effective against the rolling motion that a beam sea creates but are far less able to handle the pitching of travelling into a sea.

It seems to me, and I am ready to be contradicted, that in rough seas the trip to Clifford Bay, going pretty well straight into a southerly, will be less pleasant than on the present route.



Treasure trove

A Synergy youth mentor took her little Blenheim buddy to the annual Mistletoe Bay picnic on Sunday and despite cool and overcast weather "she thoroughly enjoyed herself and had many ‘firsts' - first time going on a long trip in the car, first time on a boat, first time at the beach etc - really highlights how much we take for granted. We are planning to make a treasure box (hopefully during our next couple of sessions together) to house the stones and shells that she collected."

A big thank you to another mentor, Gillian Bird and Bob, who took their motorboat along with the luxurious two-person ski biscuit provided by previous mentors Richard Gilbert and Diane Kennedy. They ferried an endless queue of children, endlessly.

Thank you to Mistletoe Bay for lending us kayaks since it was a better day to be on the water than in the water. And thank you again Beachcomber Cruises and Spring Creek Lions, who every year provide this rich treasure trove of memories for our children.

We are so privileged in Marlborough - let's not take that for granted and let's continue to share and support each other. That heart of gold is the true wealth of our community.


Family Works-Presbyterian Support USI


Drinking water

Well said Phil Dashwood in your letter "Drinking Water" [Express, February 18].

The origin for the eight glass myth was a comment from a nutritionist more than 30 years ago.

He said in an interview that the body needed the equivalent of eight glasses of water per day - but this was largely made up from the food and drink consumed each day. While drinking water out of the tap was a good thing, it would be unwise to drink eight glasses of water per day unless you were running a marathon or similar.

The check for personal health is that urine should run fairly clear. Check it out.



Spending priorities

I see that MPs in general spent $2.6 million on travel and accommodation in the last three months of 2012 ["High travel costs down to large Kaikoura electorate, say Marlborough MPs", Marlborough Express, February 18].

If that happens every three months, that's $10.4 million a year. What on earth do they travel and stay in?

Our own MP Colin King is right up there in spending. I note that he says it costs him $1000 for a trip to Amberley. According to AA maps it is 270km from The Ridge to Amberley, a round trip of 540km. At say 10 litres per 100km at $2.20 a litre, that would cost.

Where does the other $880 come from? Don't remember seeing a 5 star Hilton down that way.

When the public are continually being asked to tighten their belts, schools and hospitals being closed or downsized, reading these kind of figures relating to just expenses makes one wonder where priorities lie.



Disgusting toilets

Last week I paid a visit to Redwoodtown and the Weld St toilets. I did not use them, but opted for the old ones across the road. They are old, but they don't stink.

Does anyone from the council check these facilities? Not long after me, a lady went to use them but did the same as I did.

I have never found the toilets to be filthy, but the stink in all three is disgusting. There is only one reason for this - lack of cleaning.



The Marlborough Express