Tonight Parliament debated plain packaging of tobacco. The bill to introduce plain packaging received support from all parties except for ACT and has been referred to the Health Select Committee for public consultation.
Legislating to protect and promote the health of our citizens is our nation’s sovereign right. In the least few days the tobacco industry and other vested interests have threatened New Zealand with litigation if we go ahead with this move.
We must be vigilant and guard against anything that would diminish our sovereign right to act in the best interests of our citizens. That is why today, Labour leader David Cunliffe called on the Government to publish the full negotiated text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement at least two weeks prior to signing to ensure full public scrutiny.
Sadly the Government refused. That cold put plain packaging in jeopardy. We hope the Government will change its mind and be more up front with New Zealanders about what is in the TPPA.
Rewa Eves used to be fiercely independent, but now she feels like “a useless old lady”.
The 78-year-old New Brighton woman struggles to dress herself. She can no longer hang out her washing and has to rely on family for help.
She said she had endured constant pain since falling in her garden during the magnitude 5.9 aftershock in June 2011, damaging both shoulders and her right knee.
Even sleeping has become difficult.
ACC, however, has refused to pay for the surgery she needs to fix her shoulders.
“They told me it’s a pre-existing condition . . . and apparently I left it too long after the fall to apply, but I didn’t know whether I was coming or going.”
This has all the hallmarks of the kind of treatment people get from ACC under National. As I said yesterday, we now know it is a deliberate policy to make life as difficult as possible on ACC so that more people are deterred from making claims. And the “pre-existing condition” excuse is a classic. Labour has repeatedly asked for information about how often this excuse is used to decline treatment but ACC refuses to say. They know it will look bad for National if the information is ever revealed.
Dr Stephen Parkinson, an orthopaedic surgeon who works in both the public and private health sectors, wrote to Eves’ GP saying it was unfortunate ACC had declined her application.
“She clearly has a reported earthquake-related accident . . . where she was thrown heavily on to both outstretched arms.
“Her shoulders were completely normal prior to this event with no previous history of pain or injury to her shoulders,” he wrote.
But ACC hand-picks the “experts” who access people’s claims. You can guarantee is was one of these people who decided it was a “pre-existing” condition.
Notes from the independent review showed Eves had not lodged an appeal within the required time-frame of three months.
Eves’ GP, Kim Burgess, had provided written evidence and said her patient had been distressed since the earthquakes and had found it difficult to get around New Brighton.
Eves’ review representative, Stevan Winter, said she had been overwhelmed by the ACC process and confused because of “age-related factors and the number of medical providers who treated her”, including the Redwood Physio, a chiropractor, Parkinson and Burgess.
The reviewer did not believe these were good enough reasons for the delay.
ACC has become more callous under National.
The Canterbury District Health Board was unable to accept her on to the orthopaedic surgery waiting list.
A letter from the board’s orthopaedic department said although it was “clear [Eves] will benefit from surgery”, the board was unable to provide it.
It said public hospitals could only accept patients on to the waiting list if surgery could be provided within six months.
That’s how Tony Ryall keeps his waiting list numbers looking so good.
I’m posting this on my site to help make sure as many people as possible are able to make a submission to the PNCC on their Psychoactive Products policy. I will be making a submission and I encourage you to as well.
The Palmerston North City Council is proposing to adopt the Draft Palmerston North Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP). This Draft Policy has been developed in accordance with the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013. The Act enables territorial authorities to develop their own Local Approved Products Policy to provide guidance on the location of premises from which approved products may be sold by reference to:
a. broad areas within a district
b. proximity to other premises from which approved products may be sold
c. proximity to premises or facilities of a particular kind or kinds within a district
1. The location of premises from which approved products may be sold is restricted to the area within the inner ‘ring road’ (the area contained within (and inclusive of) Walding/ Grey Streets; Princess Street; Ferguson Street and Pitt/ Bourke Streets).
2. Premises from which approved products may be sold are not allowed on the following streets: The Square, Fitzherbert Avenue, Church Street, Main Street, George Street, Coleman Place, Broadway Avenue, Rangitikei Street from The Square to Queen Street, Cuba Street, King Street, Queen Street, and Princess Street from Grey Street to Main Street. (See Map 1 in Draft Policy).
3. Retail premises from which approved products may be sold are not permitted within 50 metres of another retail premise from which approved products may be sold.
4. Retail premises from which approved products may be sold are not permitted within 50 metres of any sensitive site, which are defined as: any public library, public museum, public art gallery, community centre, education provider, premise occupied by a social welfare agency such as Work and Income, Child, Youth and Family or similar, place of worship, medical centre, the Palmerston North District Court, hostels and long term accommodation providers (over 15 beds), or any other organisation providing services for vulnerable people from its premise. (See Map 2 in Draft Policy).
5. The Council will advocate to the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority for the provision of regulations which promote the health of people in Palmerston North, including advocacy on the opening hours of retail premises from which approved products may be sold.
Anyone can make a submission about this proposal. The Council welcomes your feedback, and encourages you to tell us your views on this issue.
The Statement of Proposal (which includes details of the proposal), this Summary of Information, and the Submission Form can be found at:
Palmerston North City Council website
Customer Service Centre, Palmerston North City Council, The Square, Palmerston North;
City Library, The Square, Palmerston North, and the libraries at Ashhurst, Awapuni, Roslyn, Linton and Highbury;
Ashhurst Services Delivery Centre, 122 Cambridge Avenue, Ashhurst.
You are also entitled to appear before the Council and speak to your submission. Please indicate on your submission form whether you wish to do this. The Council intends to hear submissions on this proposal at the Community Development Committee meeting on Monday 14th April 2014. The date and time for hearings will be confirmed in the letter acknowledging your submission, and will also be advertised in the Tribune newspaper.
To get your submission to us, either:
Mail to: Local Approved Products Policy, Governance and Support Team Leader, Palmerston North City Council, Private Bag 11034, Palmerston North 4442
Deliver to: Palmerston North City Council Customer Services Centre, 32 The Square, Palmerston North
Email to: email@example.com (please put Local Approved Products Policy Submissions in the subject)
Phone: 06 356 8199 Fax to: 06 355 4115
The submission period closes at 4pm Monday 24th February 2014.
Please note that all written submissions, including the contact details on the submission, will be made available to the public and media and on the Council’s website, unless you specifically request that your contact details are kept private. For further information on this consultation please phone the Council on 06 356 8199 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org