Home' Napier Mail : May 18th 2011 Contents 3
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Safe way home for elderly
Elderly Napier people are being
discharged from Hawke s Bay
Hospital late at night with no
option but an expensive taxi ride
home, says Napier-based labour
MP Stuart Nash.
Elderly patients already dis-
tressed at having been in hos-
pital were having salt rubbed
into the wound by having to pay
up to $70 to get home, he says.
Hawke s Bay District Health
Board chief executive Kevin
Snee said staff try to manage
the discharge of all patients
safely, particularly the elderly.
Often elderly patients are
kept in overnight to ensure they
are safe for discharge the follow-
ing day when there may be more
family or community support
available to them.
The DHB does all it can to
ensure the safe discharge of
patients and a free bus service is
provided during certain hours.
There was never a free service
provided from Napier Hospital
and it has always been a
person s responsibility to get
themselves home once they are
Mr Nash says anyone
discharged from hospital outside
of normal transport hours and
who has no other means of get-
ting home to Napier should be
provided with a free taxi chit.
Mr Snee says he is sure
taxpayers would rather we
spent money on providing and
increasing health services .
Mayors question study
Napier people are not interested in amal-
gamation with Hastings, says Napier
Mayor Barbara Arnott.
However, a feasibility study into a
Hawke s Bay super-council looks likely to
go ahead, despite opposition from some of
the affected councils.
In the October local body elections no
Napier councillors found amalgamation
was an issue for Napier people, Ms
Why would we want to amalgamate?
The answer is amalgamation but no one
knows what the question is.
People are looking at Auckland and the
$200 million supercity set up costs there,
The council is wary of exposing rate-
payers to huge expense for no good
reason. Napier has not received a formal
request to support a super-council feasi-
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule, an
outspoken advocate for amalgamation,
says he has had negative to lukewarm
feedback from other mayors, but is hope-
ful they will support a feasibility study in
principle, if not financially.
The possible super-council region
includes Hastings District, Napier City,
Wairoa District, Central Hawke s Bay
District and Hawke s Bay Regional
councils. Mr Yule is proposing an amal-
gamation of at least Hastings, Napier
and the regional council.
Ms Arnott says a study done in 1998
and 1999 split people apart for two years
and when the report was received you
could shoot holes in it .
Investigating the issue again also
meant putting council s workforce under
anxiety for an extended period.
Napier and Hastings are two complem-
entary communities, she says.
Hastings and the regional council have
each contributed $50,000 towards a feasi-
bility study on the issue. The study could
begin in July and Mr Yule said it would
take about three months.
He preferred to have all councils in
favour of amalgamation, meaning the
proposal could go straight to the Local
Government Commission to consider.
Failing that, he would at least expect
the other councils support for the study,
as it would allow councillors and
residents of all districts to be fully
informed. Another option available to Mr
Yule under the Local Government Act is
to take a petition to all districts rate-
The commission will consider a pro-
posal if 10 per cent of voters back it. It
would then go to a referendum.
I want a proper study of all the merits
and negatives, then [to] make a decision
on whether it should be advanced. If, at
the end of it, it shows this is a dumb idea,
I will accept that, said Mr Yule.
Central Hawke s Bay Mayor Peter But-
ler said amalgamation offered no advan-
tage to his district. Wairoa Mayor Les
Probert has questioned the need for it.
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