Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman have today welcomed the World Masters Games 2017 to New Zealand.
The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world, with New Zealand set to host 28 sports, 45 disciplines and more than 28,000 participants from 100 countries.
Under the Major Events Development Fund, the Government has invested $11 million into the event, making it the largest investment from the fund to date.
“The World Masters Games is the pinnacle sporting event for masters’ competitors worldwide. It’s the first time New Zealand has hosted the Games, offering a significant opportunity to showcase the country to thousands of athletes and spectators from across the world,” Mr Bridges says.
“We’ve invested in bringing this event to New Zealand for the strong economic and tourism benefits it will bring with the event forecast to generate 266,000 visitor nights and $52 million to national GDP. It is also a prime example of New Zealand’s ability to host major events such as these,” Mr Bridges says.
Participants range from masters sporting greats, former Olympic and Commonwealth Games medal winners, to amateur athletes and teams who compete in the event for fun, for their lifelong love of sport, and to experience new countries and cultures. The oldest competitor is 101 years old and the youngest 25 years old.
“In supporting the Olympic Games ethos of ‘sport for all’, the goal of the World Masters Games is to encourage participation in sport throughout life,” says Dr Coleman. “I’m sure the efforts and achievements of the competitors will inspire Kiwis around the country to continue with their sport or have another go at something they might have given up.”
Two of the philosophies of the Masters Games are to promote friendship and understanding, along with competition, between mature sports people regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or sport status. “This spirit is very much alive in New Zealand,” says Dr Coleman.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today opened Waitemata DHB’s new $9.9 million outpatient clinic at North Shore Hospital.
“The new fit-for-purpose $9.9 million outpatient facility at North Shore Hospital will provide enough capacity to support future service growth over the coming years,” says Dr Coleman.
“The outpatient clinic, Kahui Manaaki, translates to ‘cluster of kindness’, which reflects key services being brought together which will help ensure patients receive better quality of care.
“The new clinic brings together specialist clinics, lab and oxygen therapy services, as well as 16 consulting rooms, and three teaching rooms.
“There is also a strong emphasis on training, research and innovation, with the clinic also bringing key academic partners together from the University of Auckland Medical School and Auckland University of Technology.
This will open up better teaching opportunities for students and staff. In particular for the DHB’s internationally recognised haematology clinicians to continue and expand their research.
“The new facility will enable North Shore Hospital to provide faster, high quality integrated care for patients.”
Waitemata is the largest and fastest growing DHB in New Zealand, currently there are 598,000 residents in the area with this set to grow by 90,000 people by 2025.
This is supported by an extra $51 million in new money this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $1.5 billion for 2016/17. Over the last eight years the DHB has received an extra $409 million in funding.
Notes to Editor
The new fit-for purpose $9.9m outpatients facility is one of several projects in Waitemata DHB’s 10-year plan to ensure they meet the future needs of the local community:He Puna Wāiora provides a new 46-bed mental health services inpatient unit Hine Ora is a dedicated 15-bed women’s health ward The North Shore Hospital Sky Bridge links the Elective Surgery Centre with the main hospital building The redevelopment of the emergency department at Waitakere Hospital is due to be concluded in May 2017 An increase in radiology CT Imaging capacity at Waitakere is due to begin later in 2017 Additional medical beds at Waitakere Hospital are due for completion in May 2017 A new 15 bed villa for the Mason clinic is due to be completed in July 2017
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today announced that some of the health sector’s lowest paid workers will share in a $2 billion pay equity settlement over five years.
The wage boost follows the TerraNova pay equity claim brought by E tū (previously the Service and Food Workers Union) on behalf of care worker Kristine Bartlett.
“This settlement recognises the work carried out by the 55,000 workers in our aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services across the country,” says Dr Coleman.
“From July 1 this dedicated and predominantly female workforce who are mostly on or around minimum wage will receive a pay rise between around 15 and 50 per cent depending on their qualifications and or experience.
“For the 20,000 workers currently on the minimum wage of $15.75 per hour, it means on July 1 they will move to at least $19 per hour, a 21 per cent pay rise. For a full-time worker, this means they will be taking home around an extra $100 a week, which is over $5,000 a year.”
For these 55,000 workers this funding boost will see wages increase to between $19 to $27 per hour over five years. Existing workers will be transitioned to positions on the new pay scale which reflect their skills, and their experience. For new workers employed after July 1 wages will be based on an individual’s level of qualifications.
A care and support worker on the minimum wage with three years’ experience and no qualifications will receive a 27 per cent increase in their hourly wage rate moving from $15.75 to $20 per hour from July 1. That rate would progressively increase to $23 by July 2021 and would rise further if they attain a higher qualification.
The $2.048 billion settlement over five years will be funded through an increase of $1.856 billion to Vote Health and $192 million to ACC. ACC levies are set for the coming years, but may possibly increase over the next decade to support this. However, that is not definite. There may also be an increase in costs for people in aged residential care facilities, whose assets keep them above the subsidy threshold. This will be determined through the annual Aged Residential Care contract negotiations.
“To ensure the pay rises happen in the agreed manner, I will be introducing legislation to Parliament shortly,” says Dr Coleman.
“I would like to thank E tū, Public Service Association, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, and the Council of Trade Unions for their constructive and positive approach throughout the negotiations. I would also like to acknowledge the New Zealand Aged Care Association, Home and Community Health Association, and the New Zealand Disability Support Network for the vital role they have played in reaching this agreement over the past 20 months.
“I would also like to recognise the employers who will implement this new wage structure and pass the rates onto their staff.
“Home and community support, disability and aged residential care workers are widely seen as amongst the most deserving of recognition as a pay equity case. It is an historic moment for the Government to address this undervaluing with Ms Bartlett and the unions.”
Please find attached examples of how this pay increase will benefit the three different areas of the workforce: Home and Community Support Services, Aged Residential Care and Community and Residential Living. Also attached is a detailed Q&A.
Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry have today launched the Rugby 2017 Festival.
“Rugby 2017 Festival is a program of engaging activities for fans that will run alongside the DHL New Zealand Lions Series in June and July,” says Dr Coleman.
“The Festival will provide a chance for communities and fans to enjoy the series which is a unique occasion to enjoy and celebrate rugby and reinforce our ability to host major events and showcase New Zealand to the world.
“The economic benefits to New Zealand when the British & Irish Lions last toured here in 2005 were considerable. Ticket sales totalled 355,000 and there were over 431,000 international visitor bed nights. There was also an estimated local television audience of over 3.5 million for the three tests.”
The program includes a series of rugby club ‘Legends at the Local’ events across the host cities, Matariki programmes and arts events all designed to engage fans in the days around the matches.
“It also includes the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Lands of Hope and Glory’ concert, a world record haka attempt before the Maori All Blacks game in Rotorua and a ‘Dunedin Sounds’ music event,” Ms Barry says.
“Rugby 2017 Festival will be a nationwide celebration that showcases our culture. We want as many New Zealanders as possible to be involved in providing our own unique kiwi hospitality to international visitors.”
“This is why the Government has allocated $3 million from the Major Events Development Fund to help the host cities show fans the best New Zealand has to offer.”
The DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017 kicks off on 3 June when the British & Irish Lions meet the New Zealand Provisional Barbarians in Whangarei. They will play all five Super Rugby teams, the Maori All Blacks, and three test matches against the All Blacks.
To help enhance the fan experience there will be a fan zone on Queens Wharf in Auckland to coincide with the test matches, with live match screenings, performances, exhibitions, food and beverage showcases. Some of the other host cities will also have their own fan zones.
More information on The Rugby 2017 Festival can be found at Rugby2017festival.com
Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry have acknowledged the generosity of sporting legend Sir Peter Snell in gifting medals and memorabilia to the nation.
“Sir Peter stands out as the first New Zealander to win and defend multiple Olympic medals. These and many other accomplishments give him a significant place in our sporting history,” says Dr Coleman.
“It is great to celebrate the achievements of Sir Peter and to have him present the 14 items to Te Papa, including his gold medals from Rome and Tokyo.”
“He was just 21 when he won gold in Rome, providing one of the most memorable sporting days in our history.”
Today he gifted his Olympic and Commonwealth medals, the tankard for the mile world record in Whanganui in 1962, the Insignia of the Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and the right shoe he wore winning gold at Rome in 1960.
“These items symbolise not only Sir Peter’s incredible achievements but the determination and grit it took to achieve them,” Ms Barry says.
“Behind every gold medal are many pairs of well-worn running shoes and behind every great achievement are the many miles of the journey to get there. These treasures tell several stories including the connection between the runner and his coach.”
“Among the items gifted today is the right running shoe designed and signed by Arthur Lydiard and it’s an example of those other kiwi traits - innovation and ingenuity. If you can’t find what you need ready-made then you design it and have it made to be fit for purpose.”
“Sir Peter decided to wear the Lydiard shoes in Rome rather than the Adidas ones given to prospective medallists. An extra rubber wedge was added to the shoes’ heels to counteract the jarring effect of the cinder track which was much harder than the grass surface he was used to.”
The left shoe was made into a trophy called “The Shoe” which Bay of Plenty schools competed for in athletics but has been lost over the years.
“Wouldn’t it be good if someone knew where the left shoe is so they could be re-united and displayed as a pair,” Ms Barry says.
Sir Peter is on his way to Auckland for the table tennis competition at the world’s largest multi-sport event, the Masters Games where more than 25,000 competitors from 28 countries will compete in sports such as rugby, netball, swimming and basketball.
“The exhibition at Te Papa allows people to see these items up close and brings Sir Peter’s story to life, using video, virtual reality and digital storytelling. Every kiwi kid will be able to get a glimpse of the determination and grit that took Sir Peter Snell to the top,” Ms Barry says.
Items gifted by Sir Peter SnellRome Olympic Games gold medal, 1960 Shoe made by Arthur Lydiard, worn in Rome for winning race, 1960 3 World Record plaques awarded by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), 1961-62 Tankard for the mile world record in Whanganui, 1962 Tokyo Olympic Games gold medal, 1964 New Zealand Sportsman of the Year Award trophy, 1960 and 1964 Sydney Olympic Games torch, 2000 Insignia of the Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) (badge and breast star), 2002 Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) (1965) British Empire and Commonwealth Games gold medals (2), Perth, 1962
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says more kids are seeing their doctors.
"We want to ensure young Kiwis get the best possible start in life. Removing the cost barrier of doctor visits and prescription charges is having a really positive impact on many families," says Dr Coleman.
“The latest Ministry of Health data shows that the average number of visits for under 13s has increased almost 14 per cent between July and December 2016, compared with the same period in 2014.”
“The data shows that more Maori and Pacific children are being seen by their enrolled GP. There was a 14.9 per cent increase in visits for Maori children and an 11.1 per cent increase in visits for Pacific children between July and December 2016, compared with the same period in 2014.”
More than 99 per cent of New Zealand GP practices receive funding to make zero fees possible for under-13s.
“Based on DHB reported coverage, around 780,000 children under 13 have access to free after-hours general practice visits within 60 minutes travel time.”
“The Government is committed to ensuring that not only do our children have the access to the care that they need but that they can also access after-hours care.”
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Education Minister Hekia Parata have welcomed the appointment of Professor Grant Schofield, as the Ministry of Education’s first Chief Education Health and Nutrition Advisor.
“Obesity is a serious issue threatening the health of young New Zealanders, which means some of our kids could end up living shorter lives than their parents,” says Dr Coleman.
“In 2014/15 11 per cent of all children aged 2-14 years were obese. The figures for Maori and Pacific children were 15 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
“In 2015 the Government launched the 22-point Childhood Obesity Plan, making New Zealand one of few countries to have a comprehensive plan and a health target.”
This work is being supported by teaching and learning in Food and Nutrition, and Physical Activity, two of the core components of the Health and Physical Education learning area in the New Zealand Curriculum.
“Professor Schofield is one of New Zealand’s top physical activity and nutrition experts. His appointment will build a much broader and more robust approach to the work already taking place across the education sector,” says Ms Parata.
“Professor Schofield will be able to provide valuable advice around the design, integration and implementation of the curriculum to strengthen what schools are offering students in these key learning areas.”
As part of the Childhood Obesity Plan we have seen increasing numbers of schools going water-only and good progress is being made in encouraging primary schools to adopt the Health Promoting Schools programme.
A recent review by the Education Review Office found that schools were doing a good job of promoting positive attitudes to food, nutrition and physical activity.
Ms Parata says that getting good habits and positive attitudes in place while children are young sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating and exercise.
“The appointment of Professor Schofield is a further step in the right direction and I look forward to his input into how we can improve health outcomes.
“With the right knowledge, students themselves have the potential to lead healthy change in their homes and wider communities.”
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today released the draft suicide prevention strategy for consultation.
“Suicidal behaviour affects a significant number of people every year, and has substantial impacts on the individual as well as on their families, friends, and wider community,” says Dr Coleman.
“Our suicide rate is too high with approximately 500 deaths a year. I’m particularly worried about the rates for youth, and specifically Maori and Pacific young people.
“Although improvements have been made these rates are still too high and there is always more we can do.
“The release of the draft suicide prevention strategy for consultation provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to give feedback on the priority actions that will help guide suicide prevention activities.
“The draft strategy acknowledges the need for input and engagement from right across society. Health services, particularly mental health services, and Government agencies cannot do this work alone.
“It also builds on the previous strategy with a proposed stronger focus on opportunities across Government to better manage integrated responses and share information.”
The Ministry of Health has held 23 workshops around the country with families, providers, clinicians, academics, and other government agencies which have helped inform development of the draft strategy.
Some of the themes to emerge from preparatory work on how to prevent suicide included:the need for a broad cross-society and cross-government approach; further work to reduce the stigma around suicide and mental illness; encouraging safe conversations about suicide; further increasing the access to support and professional help, and increasing ongoing support for parents and families.
“This work is being supported by the extra $300 million the Government has invested into mental health and addiction services. Taking the total health spend in this area to over $1.4 billion for this financial year,” says Dr Coleman.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the number of registered nurses working in mental health and addictions services has increased at a higher rate for than other areas of nursing.
“It’s important people can access the appropriate mental health and addiction services that they need,” says Dr Coleman.
“We’ve increased mental health and addiction services funding from $1.1 billion in 2008/09 to over $1.4 billion for 2015/16. But there’s always more we can do and the Government continues to work on improving mental health services. Having a dedicated workforce is an important part of our wider plan.
“New data from Health Workforce New Zealand shows the number of registered nurses working in mental health and addictions services has increased at a higher rate than for any other area of nursing from 2011 to 2016, increasing from 3,583 to 4,206.
“Over that period the number of registered nurses in addiction services has increased 23 per cent; community mental health has increased 22 per cent, and hospital based mental health services have increased 12 per cent.
“We are also seeing a better reflection of the make-up of our population in our mental health and addictions nursing workforce. Evidence suggests that matching the demographic of the workforce to the population improves health outcomes and access to services.
“This year 19 per cent of the new graduates employed in mental health and addictions identify as Māori, 15 per cent as Pacific and 48 per cent as European.
“Data from the national recruitment system that matches graduate nurses to jobs tells us that mental health is consistently in the top three preferences for new graduates.”
Dr Coleman says the Government remains committed to actions designed to ensure we have a well trained workforce.
“The well-established Voluntary Bonding Scheme encourages health practitioners to practise in specialties and regions that are traditionally difficult to staff.
“Since 2011, when Mental Health and Addictions was added to the Scheme for registered nurses, 584 (nearly a third of the 1,846 nurses who registered for the Scheme) have joined under this category.
“In addition to this, through the Nurse Entry to Specialty Practice programme, this year’s mental health and addictions programme will see 155 graduate nurses working in this area gain specialty knowledge with a postgraduate certificate.”
The recently published Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Action Plan confirms the Ministry's commitment to developing a capable and motivated workforce. The plan is available on the Ministry of Health website, www.health.govt.nz.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have welcomed 11 ground-breaking projects that have won $1.65 million in explorer grants from the Health Research Council (HRC).
“The Government supports research that leads to improved health outcomes and more effective delivery of healthcare for New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.
The HRC explorer grants announced today will support such diverse projects as re-growing teeth, regenerating bone, creating 3D bioprinted vascularised skin, developing a faster way for doctors to detect antibiotic resistance and exploring female infertility.
“Developing a technique to re-grow teeth, for example, is an extraordinary concept and offers huge potential for people suffering dental health problems,” says Dr Coleman.
University of Otago researcher Dr Azam Ali’s “No drill, no fill” project will develop a biometric system that can potentially trigger remineralisation and regrowth of dental tissues.
He aims to create new treatment options for the prevention and restoration of dental caries, a major public health concern nationally and internationally.
Explorer grants are worth $150,000 each and provide seed support for transformative research ideas at an early stage for a term of up to 24 months long.
“These explorer grants give researchers a financial kick-start for their unique projects that aim to completely revolutionise health care,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Through this union of science and healthcare we hope to make inroads into reducing the toll of these diseases on people’s lives and in reducing the burden socially and economically.”
The Government's ongoing commitment to health research is demonstrated in the Budget 2016 announcement of an extra $97 million over the next four years for the Health Research Council.
Further details about grants are available on the Health Research Council of New Zealand website www.hrc.govt.nz.