Why Leggett’s go­ing af­ter a health job

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

One of mayor Nick Leggett’s big­gest frus­tra­tions is be­ing un­able to make a real dif­fer­ence to his con­stituents’ health, he says.

Mr Leggett said res­i­dents con­stantly asked him to help with health is­sues fac­ing Porirua, so he has de­cided to run for a seat on the Cap­i­tal & Coast Dis­trict Health Board the Oc­to­ber elec­tions, as well as for mayor of Porirua.

‘‘In­stead of just be­ing some­one who jumps up and down about health is­sues, I want to be some­one who has an in­flu­ence,’’ Mr Leggett said.

‘‘Res­i­dents look to the coun­cil, but we don’t have any in­volve­ment apart from ad­vo­cacy.’’

Main­tain­ing 24-hour health- care for Porirua and Tawa res­i­dents is Mr Leggett’s top pri­or­ity, he says.

While vis­it­ing Kenepuru A&M re­cently, he was asked to en­sure the fa­cil­ity re­mained open – an ex­am­ple of a re­quest he can­not cur­rently meet.

‘‘We have the high­est num­ber of kids [ per capita] in the coun­try in Porirua, many of them in high-need house­holds.

‘‘GP ser­vices have to be eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and ef­fec­tive so their health needs are be­ing met.’’

An­other mo­ti­va­tion for stand­ing was to re­tain a Porirua and Tawa voice on the board. Porirua- based in­cum­bents Bar­bara Don­ald­son and Mar­garet Faulkner are stand­ing down, and of 23 peo­ple vy­ing for seven spots on the board, Mr Leggett is the only one from Porirua.

He in­sisted he would have time for the $25,000-a-year job on top of his $101,333 role as mayor.

‘‘ So much of my time gets taken up on health in the city any­way.’’

Up­per Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy was a cur­rent ex­am­ple of a mayor who also sat on the DHB, Mr Leggett said.

Ms Don­ald­son and Ms Faulkner had done a fine job on the DHB, but as mayor, Mr Leggett might have more clout, he said.

‘‘ They’ve been su­perb ad­vo­cates for Porirua. The is­sue’s not them. The is­sue is the struc­ture of the health board, if any­thing.

‘‘ If I’m re- elected to the may­oralty, I can use that po­si­tion to bet­ter ad­vo­cate for health.’’

Photo: AN­DREA O’NEIL

New look: Mayor Nick Leggett and coun­cil­lor ’Ana Cof­fey show off coun­cil re­brand­ing at a park by Porirua Stream.

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