Regarding ambulance response times: In our experience it can take over 35 minutes to get to the Bay of Islands hospital and around 1 hour 15 minutes to Whangarei hospital.
Allowances must also be included to find parking. In April my 91-year-old father fell in his attached annex living room in the early hours of the morning. I pressed his St John medical alarm and it took the ambulance 55 minutes to get here. He had fractured his femur which had to be pinned and plated.
Six weeks later dad fell again, this time in the bathroom. His St John alarm was immediately pressed and their response was that it would be one hour before an ambulance could attend.
After 45 minutes St John rang back to say the ambulance had been diverted to a more urgent case and it would be another hour before it could get to us.
For two hours my dad, with end stage renal failure, lay on a cold bathroom floor, as we had been told not to move him. We provided pillows, hot water bottles and covered him with blankets to keep him warm. He was transferred to Bay of Islands hospital.
My comments are to highlight the lack of resources for an ever increasing population in Northland, to Winston Peters and the Government, and not to criticise the rescue services who attended.
Although the new sewerage system will not affect us, I was astonished to see new users to this system will be required to pay a hefty connection fee and then an ongoing payment over and above their normal rates for, it seems, an unlimited period.
Even if one chooses not to be connected there is still a hefty one off charge - for what? Simply because your home is situated within the boundaries of the new system.
Personally I find this user pays approach to be quite unfair and, in the long run, unworkable. For donkeys years the ratepayers not on town sewerage have been effectively subsidising all those ratepayers who were on the town sewage system.
Likewise, all those ratepayers who are living on gravel roads have been effectively subsidising the sealing of the roads for other ratepayers. To now choose sewerage as an item which should simply be paid for uniquely by the specific users is ridiculous and
Regarding the new road safety barriers on Brynderwyn Hills: Having just travelled over the Brynderwyn Hills, I would think New Zealand Transport Agency should look for the cause of the stated 20 plus accidents rather than pat themselves on the back.
I think it was a waste of money as the north side wasn’t as bad as the south side which still needs realigning. For the amount of earth they shifted there should be a super highway over the hill instead of a one lane northbound plus two lanes southbound.
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Reader David Goodwin had a long wait for an ambulance recently.