An overhaul of smoking cessation services has had a significant impact on quit rates, Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says.
Sixteen new regional smoking cessation services began operating in July last year with the aim of better supporting smokers who need help to quit, especially Māori, Pacific and pregnant women.
“So far over 9000 people have enrolled in the new services, but what’s really telling is the significant improvement in the overall quit rate,” Ms Wagner says.
“The rate has jumped from 34 per cent in 2014/15 to 44 per cent for the year to date.
“International evidence shows high quality stop smoking services can lead to a quit rate of 50 per cent. Some of the new services have already achieved this and others are on track to do so.
“Counties Manukau has one of the most successful programmes, with quit rates of 57 and 55 per cent for its Maori and pregnant clients respectively.
“These results are partly due to a successful incentives programme, which provides pregnant women with vouchers for achieving milestones, including remaining smoke-free. The service is also well integrated into the local community and responsive to clients’ needs.”
All new cessation services are part of regional tobacco control networks and liaise closely with local partners and key stakeholders, sharing ideas and practices to improve their performance.
“The Government is committed to making New Zealand smokefree by 2025 through a wide range of evidence-based interventions, including implementing standardised packaging, legalising e-cigarettes and broadening smokefree policies at the local and regional level,” Ms Wagner says.
Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming the decision to include questions on disability in the 2018 Census.
“The Census collects important data about who we are as New Zealanders. Including a question set to identify people who are disabled will provide us with valuable information about their lives,” Ms Wagner says.
The questions are based on the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability — considered best practice internationally for identifying disabled people in population censuses.
“The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has indicated New Zealand needs to collect better data about disabled people, so I’m pleased to see we’re rising to the challenge and doing the right thing by this diverse group of Kiwis,” Ms Wagner says.
“Having up to date and meaningful data is critical for understanding the experiences of disabled people as well as informing policy development and service planning. Along with information gathered from talking to disabled people about their experiences, census data will be used to develop outcome measures for the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016–2026.”
The Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability was recently included in the New Zealand General Social Survey and the Household Labour Force Survey. Other sources of national disability data include the 2013 Disability Survey, The New Zealand Health Survey and The New Zealand Mental Health Survey.
A new report on the Government’s response to the Canterbury earthquakes will become a key emergency management planning tool, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.
The Whole of Government Report analyses and references the findings of more than 200 works of published literature on the Canterbury earthquake sequence, and identifies more than 50 lessons across five key areas.
“This report captures a number of lessons from the Government’s response to the Canterbury quakes, provides a solid platform for future learning and legacy-type work, and complements other initiatives such as the EQ Recovery Learning website,” Ms Wager says.
“The Canterbury quakes were an unprecedented disaster and the Government, its partners, local agencies, and the community had limited experience or resources from which to draw.
“As we all know, the last six years have been a steep learning curve. We didn’t always get it right, but we made the best decisions possible with the information we had at the time.
“Taking the opportunity to reflect and learn means each time we have a significant quake, such as the one in Kaikoura last November, we do better — our response is faster, more targeted and more effective.
“One of the key lessons from both international experience and our own recovery planning, is that a single lead entity removes local confusion and provides much-needed certainty. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) was up and running quickly, and provided leadership and coordination during an incredibly difficult time.
“Our recovery and regeneration is an ongoing process. As both the Christchurch Mayor and I have signalled, there will be a number of opportunities to continue to reflect on our challenges and achievements over the coming years.”
The second City Leaders’ Forum will be held tomorrow, providing another opportunity to discuss aspects of Christchurch’s regeneration.
Hosted by Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, it will be facilitated by The Press editor, Joanna Norris.
“Tomorrow’s event is about the ‘Regeneration Ecosystem’ — the organisations responsible for the city’s regeneration, their roles and responsibilities, and what we’ve learned following the disestablishment of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) just over a year ago,” Ms Wagner says.
A panel of key greater Christchurch regeneration leaders will discuss the vision for, and regeneration of, Cathedral Square and its environs, and share updates on key public and private sector projects, including the Christchurch Knowledge Centre (Central Library), the Convention Centre and Victoria Square.
“When you take a walk around the city, you can see things are progressing and taking shape, but there’s still a lot more to do, which is why it’s so important we regularly get together to review where we’re at and where we’re going,” Ms Wagner says.
“It’s about staying informed and on task to achieve the vision that’s been set out for our city.”
“I'm looking forward to hearing about and discussing people's vision for Cathedral Square and its surroundings, as well as getting updates on some of the central city's key projects,” Mayor Dalziel says.
“We need a thriving and flourishing central city in order to attract people back in to the CBD. The regeneration of the square and getting these key projects completed will go a long way to helping attract people to live in the CBD, ensuring that once again the central city has a beating heart.”
The forum panellists are chief executives Karleen Edwards (Christchurch City Council), Rob Hall (Development Christchurch Limited), Albert Brantley (Ōtākaro Limited) and Ivan Iafeta (Regenerate Christchurch).
Note to editors: Media are welcome to attend the forum at The Piano, 156 Armagh Street on Monday 31 July from 4-6pm.
Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith today launched a new strategy and action plan to better equip New Zealanders, especially children and young people, with the knowledge, skills and motivation to tackle environmental issues.
Mātauranga Whakauka Taio – Environment Education for Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan sets out how government agencies will work together over the next 10 years to better support the delivery of environmental education.
“New Zealanders are increasingly aware of how important it is to preserve and protect our stunning natural environment. This strategy is about boosting that awareness through collaboration, cooperation and practical, hands-on experiences,” Ms Wagner says.
“Knowledge and understanding is the first step, but this is also about inspiring people to take action. We want our children and young people to grow up with the skills and motivation to tackle big environmental issues such as climate change, water quality, biodiversity protection and waste.
“The Government already has a number of ambitious targets in place, including Predator Free 2050 and making 90 per cent of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040. This strategy will further contribute to the protection of our natural environment and the creation of a sustainable future,” Dr Smith says.
“National is proud of our heritage in producing the first Environmental Education Strategy, in 1998, but we also recognise that it needed to be strengthened and updated.
“The new strategy puts more focus on hands-on environmental education and links to the science curriculum. It also provides a more inclusive approach, reflecting growth in Taha Maori and will drive better co-ordination between the Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Education and schools.
“The Government provides funding of $1.9 million per year for delivery of the Enviroschools and Te Aho Tu Roa programmes. This covers more than 1000 schools, kura and early childhood centres,” Dr Smith says.
For more information, visit: http://www.doc.govt.nz/eefs
The number of women working in construction in Canterbury has more than doubled since the quakes, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.
This week’s Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Women in Construction shows the number of women working in both residential and non-residential construction in Canterbury has increased from 3400 in March 2010 to 7600 in March 2017 — a 124 per cent increase.
“That’s 4200 more women employed in skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing and gas fitting,” Ms Wagner says.
“More and more women are embracing rebuild opportunities by entering and succeeding in this traditionally male-dominated industry. Women can bring a fresh perspective, strengthen customer relations and improve business performance.
“The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), which was responsible for repairing Christchurch’s quake-damaged infrastructure, proactively encouraged women into its workforce through the SCIRT Women in Construction working group.
“Between 2014 and 2015, the number of women in crew roles at SCIRT doubled from 6 to 12 per cent.
“Women are also increasingly represented in trades training at organisations such as the Ara Institute in Christchurch, where the number of women in trade courses rose from 118 in 2011 to more than 300 in 2016.
“With a skills shortage around the country, it’s great to see more women in construction — it makes good business sense and benefits Christchurch and New Zealand economically.”
Note: Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Women in Construction is attached.
Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today announced three appointments and two reappointments to the Nature Heritage Fund Committee.
Jan Riddell (Winton) and Dr Gerry McSweeney (South Westland) have been reappointed to the Committee for two years.
“As a Committee member since 2001, Ms Riddell brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience to table, so it’s my pleasure to announce she has also been appointed Chairperson,” Ms Wagner says.
Susan Yerex (Turangi), Gina Solomon (Kaikoura) and Christopher Severne (Auckland) have been appointed to the Committee for three years. All terms begin this month.
“The skills, attributes and geographic spread of the new members will ensure the Committee maintains a balance of expertise,” Ms Wagner says.
“I’d like to thank outgoing Committee members Dr Les Molley, Mike Lee and former Chairperson Di Lucas, who served on the committee for eight, 15 and 27 years respectively.”
The Nature Heritage Fund helps protect indigenous ecosystems on private land through acquisitions, covenanting and management plans. To date, it has protected over 350,000 hectares of high-value conservation land, including forests, wetlands, tussock lands and coastal ecosystems.
The habitats of threatened native species such as the long-tailed bat, North Island Brown Kiwi, mistletoe and ornate skinks have been protected with support from the Nature Heritage Fund.
Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner is welcoming a lease agreement that will open up almost 70 hectares of land for key regeneration projects in Waimakariri.
Sixty eight hectares of Crown-owned residential red zone land, in the Kaiapoi and Pines Beach regeneration areas, will be leased to the Waimakariri District Council by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). The land was once home to about 900 properties.
“This lease agreement paves the way for the Council to continue its work promoting community wellbeing and supporting economic growth, as set out in the Recovery Plan for the district,” Ms Wagner says.
The Recovery Plan contains proposals such as new parks and reserves, walking and cycling tracks and a dog park. There is also provision for heritage and mahinga kai activities, mixed business use areas, roads and infrastructure sites, as well as rural activities.
“The lease is a concrete step toward realising the Council and community’s vision for the area,” Ms Wagner says.
“The land will eventually be divested to the Council, however, the lease will enable the rebuilding of infrastructure to get underway.”
LINZ, which manages residential red zone properties on behalf of the Crown, is working on the divestment plan to transfer the land into Council ownership by mid-2018. The Council will now be responsible for carrying out maintenance of the leased land.
Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says a hard-working and talented group has produced a high-level design for the transformed disability support system.
“The co-design group, which includes disabled people, worked intensively over several months to create and shape the framework for this new system,” Ms Wagner says.
“Disabled people are experts in their own lives. They’ve been the driving force behind this transformation and instrumental in its design. This is a great example of ‘nothing about us, without us’.”
The new system will include:An information hub with a number of ways to make contact and be contacted; Capability funding for disabled people and whānau to build their skills; A new funding model which reduces assessment and provides opportunities for investment, as well as increasing choice and control; Support to expand peer and whānau networks; An easy to use information collection tool which tracks how things are going for disabled people, whānau, providers and the system; A personal information profile managed by disabled people and whanau; A monitoring approach which reduces compliance and is proportionate to the amount of funding people receive; and National and local governance groups with disabled people and whānau representatives.
“Disabled people will experience a real and meaningful difference with the new system. There will be a lot less red tape, more choice about the support on offer, and a range of easy ways to find information through peer or whānau networks and online,” Ms Wagner says.
Work will now begin on the detailed design, which will roll out first in Mid-Central — Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Manawatu, Otaki and Tararua districts — on July 1, 2018.
“There will be more opportunities for disabled people and others from the disability sector to contribute to the detailed design, and we’re looking at how to do that,” Ms Wagner says.
For more information, visit: http://www.enablinggoodlives.co.nz/system-transformation/
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner is today releasing a strategy to transform the way people who care for a disabled family member are supported.
Transforming Respite is designed to give disabled people and their family members greater choice, control and flexibility when accessing and using respite services.
"Thousands of New Zealanders look after disabled loved ones in their homes. We know this care can put extra pressure on families and, for some, just leaving home can be a major logistical exercise,” Ms Wagner says. “Respite services enable carers to take regular breaks, which is incredibly important for the health and wellbeing of the whole family.”
Development of the strategy included a user survey, engagement with providers and sector groups, release of a draft strategy for disability sector feedback, public workshops, meeting the families of children with complex disabilities, and youth engagement.
"We’ve received some really positive feedback from disabled people and their families about the changes, which include more flexible personal budgets with fewer restrictions, easier administration and payment methods, better access to information about the options available and support to find and use those options."
The Ministry of Health spends about $61 million on disability respite annually.
The respite strategy aligns with the vision and principles of Enabling Good Lives, the Disability Support System transformation, the New Zealand Disability Strategy, the New Zealand Health Strategy, and will achieve key objectives in the NZ Carers’ Strategy Action Plan for 2014-2018.
For a copy of the strategy, visit: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/transforming-respite-disability-support-services-respite-strategy-2017-2022