Hospi­tal, cen­sus and elec­tion on 2013 list

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION / NEWS -

Wel­come to the New Year.

Writ­ing this, as I did, be­fore Christ­mas, I had no idea what the weather would be do­ing in Jan­uary.

So I can only hope that the hol­i­days have not been spoiled by un­sea­sonal rain, wind or cold.

It won’t be long be­fore the roads are clogged again with traf­fic, school will start and the whole bun rush of life re­turns to nor­mal.

But there are some things hap­pen­ing this year which may ex­er­cise our brains and maybe even stir us into ac­tion.

The first item was go­ing to be the Ac­ci­dent and Med­i­cal overnight ser­vice at Kenepuru Hospi­tal, but from news­pa­per re­ports early in De­cem­ber, it seems the is­sue has been shelved for the moment. How­ever, there is no guar­an­tee that it will not rise from the ashes again.

Prom­ises were made that the pub­lic would be con­sulted on the is­sue.

Were we suf­fi­ciently con­sulted, do you think?

Cost cut­ting is all very well – no fam­ily, town or government or­gan­i­sa­tion should be throw­ing money around in th­ese strait­ened times – but what about the ef­fect of the cost cut­ting on the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion?

In­ci­den­tally, why is it that when the pow­ers-that-be start talk­ing about hos­pi­tals in the Welling­ton re­gion, they men- tion Master­ton, Hutt and Welling­ton hos­pi­tals and al­most al­ways leave out Kenepuru? The next item which will be en­gag­ing our at­ten­tion will be the cen­sus, de­layed for two years be­cause of the Christchurch earth­quake in 2011.

This is a very in­ter­est­ing process, in­volv­ing an enor­mous amount of or­gan­i­sa­tion in the few months be­fore the cen­sus date which this year is Tues­day, March 5.

Many peo­ple dis­like an­swer­ing the ques­tions on the cen­sus pa­per, partly be­cause they fear that their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion is made avail­able to any­one who might like to look for it.

How­ever, un­like other government agen­cies which have ac­cess to our per­sonal de­tails, Statis­tics is in­de­pen­dent.

The per­sonal de­tails such as name, date of birth, ad­dress, in­come and the like are not con­nected any­where in the sys­tem.

It is the num­bers of each cat­e­gory of each an­swer which are im­por­tant.

It is the only way, really, of gaug­ing the fu­ture needs of the pop­u­la­tion with re­gard to ed­u­ca­tion, health, law and or­der, and so on.

Ev­ery­one who works on de­liv­er­ing cen­sus pa­pers or deal­ing with them when they ar­rive back at the De­part­ment is sworn to con­fi­den­tial­ity con­cern­ing per­sonal de­tails with which they may be­come ac­quainted in the course of their du­ties.

This year, there is an on­line ver­sion of the ques­tion­naire avail­able – se­cure, quick and easy, we are told.

And last, but def­i­nitely not least, are the lo­cal body elec­tions at the end of the year.

It is to be hoped that those push­ing for a Welling­ton su­per-city will not suc­ceed in their in­ten­tion of get­ting this set up by Oc­to­ber. But who knows?

In any event, will we be treated like Auck­lan­ders, many of whom had lit­tle say in the process of be­com­ing one su­per power? Or will we be like Nel­son/Tas­man, the vote of whose ci­ti­zens stymied an amal­ga­ma­tion? Which would we pre­fer?

The main point is that we need to get off our couches, stand up, jump up and down and make our­selves heard, what­ever our point of view.

Photo: FAIRFAX

Plas­tic not fan­tas­tic: Cut­ting up your credit cards is a good first step to­wards elim­i­nat­ing debt in 2013.

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