Stricken player’s painful wait

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - PHILLIPA YALDEN

A rugby coach says a premier grade player was ly­ing in pain with a bro­ken back for an hour when an am­bu­lance was de­layed.

But a phys­io­ther­a­pist’s ‘‘amaz­ing ef­forts’’ helped keep the player still and se­cure from the Waikato field to a hos­pi­tal in Auck­land.

Braden Coates broke two ver­te­brae in his spine dur­ing a tackle and maul in the fi­nal min­utes of a Waikato club rugby cham­pi­onship match be­tween South­ern United Foot­ball Club (SURF) and Taupiri at the Taupiri rugby grounds on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The 25-year-old player, who farms near Toko­roa, has since un­der­gone surgery to fuse to­gether two of his ver­te­brae.

‘‘He’s had a very se­ri­ous spinal in­jury and is in the spinal unit at Mid­dle­more Hos­pi­tal,’’ SURF coach Darin Costar said.

‘‘We were all up there yes­ter­day and in the first 24 hours he’s im­proved quite a lot but the out­comes are un­known at this stage.’’

‘‘It hap­pened in a split sec­ond. There was noth­ing ma­li­cious in it.’’

One of the op­po­si­tion play­ers re­alised Coates was in pain and called for the ref stop to the game.

Costar said Coates was ly­ing half on his back com­plain­ing of pain in his shoul­ders and arms but was un­able to feel his legs. His mother and fa­ther had been watch­ing on the side­lines.

At that stage the op­po­si­tion team’s phys­io­ther­a­pist ran on to the field and and se­cured Coates’ neck.

‘‘He just held on to him - he ac­tu­ally didn’t let Braden go un­til they got to hos­pi­tal. He was ab­so­lutely bril­liant.’’

Costar be­lieved it took about an hour and 10 min­utes for the first am­bu­lance to ar­rive af­ter the ini­tial call was made at 4.20pm.

But in a state­ment, St John Dis­trict Op­er­a­tions man­ager for cen­tral west Stu­art Cock­burn said St John re­ceived a 111 call ad­vis­ing a rugby player had been in­jured at the Taupiri Rugby Club grounds at 4.18pm on Satur­day.

‘‘The near­est avail­able am­bu­lance was dis­patched at 4.21pm from Hamil­ton to at­tend the in­ci­dent and trav­elled un­der lights and sirens to the in­ci­dent, ar­riv­ing at 5.03pm.

‘‘A backup am­bu­lance was sent from Huntly ar­riv­ing at 5.24pm. In keep­ing with the Spinal Cord In­jury Des­ti­na­tion Pol­icy the pa­tient was trans­ferred by road to Mid­dle­more Hos­pi­tal in a mod­er­ate con­di­tion.’’ Par­ties across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum agree bot­tling com­pa­nies should pay for the wa­ter they take but the Gov­ern­ment is sit­ting on the fence. So here is what ev­ery­one thinks:

Labour Party spokesman for wa­ter David Parker

‘‘All do­mes­tic and mu­nic­i­pal users of wa­ter would be ex­empt from the roy­alty, as would stock wa­ter users. Roy­alty rev­enue would be shared with lo­cal coun­cils and iwi.

United Fu­ture leader Hon Peter Dunne

‘‘At the very least, there needs to be a co­her­ent roy­al­ties regime put in place, akin per­haps to that for oil and gas, to en­sure that our wa­ter re­sources are not be­ing just given away.’’

The Op­por­tu­ni­ties Party deputy leader Ge­off Sim­mons

‘‘Com­mer­cial wa­ter users should pay to use a pre­cious and scarce pub­lic re­source, just like they pay for any other busi­ness in­put.’’

Green Party co-leader James Shaw

‘‘We should be plac­ing a price on that to en­cour­age ef­fi­ciency in or­der to send a sig­nal that it has value.’’

New Zealand First leader Win­ston Peters

‘‘We say as a coun­try we own the wa­ter and we’ve got a right, like coal or any­thing else we’re ex­port­ing or ex­tract­ing, to put a roy­alty on it. For well over a hun­dred years we’ve be­lieved as a coun­try that we own the wa­ter, in the same way as we own in com­mon the air and the en­vi­ron­ment which we’re in.’’

Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment Nick Smith

‘‘The Gov­ern­ment is open to charg­ing wa­ter bot­tling com­pa­nies but not in iso­la­tion from other com­mer­cial users.’’

ACT Party leader David Sey­mour

‘‘ACT be­lieves that all wa­ter rights should be trade­able. This means both for­eign and lo­cal com­pa­nies (and not just bot­tlers) would pay to use wa­ter.’’

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell

‘‘Cur­rent wa­ter al­lo­ca­tion ar­range­ments which ef­fec­tively al­low wa­ter to be used to gen­er­ate a profit is a form of own­er­ship de­spite the Gov­ern­ment say­ing that no one owns the wa­ter.’’


Braden Coates was left with a bro­ken ver­te­brae af­ter a tackle in a match be­tween Toko­roa and Taupiri.

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