7,000 signatures in just 6 days on petition demanding new hospital
By Alan Tristram
The petition for a community hospital in Kapiti has chalked up 7,000 signatures in just six days.
The petition has been organised by the Kapiti Health Coalition. Its core members are from Grey Power, Older Persons Council, and the Disability Access Advisory Group.
This group is part of the larger Kapiti Health Advocacy Group, which was initiated by Mayor K Gurunathan and chaired by Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board member Kathy Spiers.
Key leaders of the petition group are:
- Sue Emerali of Disability Access Advisory Group
- Jill Standsfield of Older Persons Council
- Kevin Burrows & Conrad Peterson & Kerry Duncan of Grey Power
- Jack Penman & John Lewis
Personal horror stories
Volunteers getting the signatures are hearing some personal horror stories — most are about the time and distance taken to travel to Keneperu Hospital at Porirua, and to Wellington Hospital in Newtown.
Peope are worried about the long wait to secure the services they need.
Mayor Gurunathan says there’s an urgent need for a 24/7 emergency service. And he says some of the services provided in Wellington could also
be provided here, closer to home.
He adds: “The petition is the beginning of a conversation Kapiti needs to have with the Ministry of Health and the government politicians.
The group understands the underfunded CCDHB has been operating deficits for a number of years and even have to return more than $3m because of a budgetary stuff up by MoH.
The Capital and Coast District Health Board has been doing a remarkable job under funding constraints. Bit the petition is a signal to the government that a rapidly growing Kapiti needs new money.
“The district s northern provider, Mid Central DHB, is currently consulting with its Otaki clients on a Locality Plan to asses local needs. Capital & Coast DHB has not started theirs.
“This petition and the increased public awareness this is creating on the lack of sustainable services here will ensure a greater public engagement.
“I urge the public to send a clear message to the incoming government that Kapiti needs a set of services in an expanded medical centre in the form of a community hospital.”
Mayory Gurunathan also says he Kapiti Health Coalition needs volunteers to help collect signatures. He adds: “Join them!”