Stricken player’s painful wait
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.