Kaiaua Compass August 2015

Columns
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Learning about the many wonderful community initiatives in our area is one of the real joys of being a local Member of Parliament. Recently I visited the Te Whangai Trust in Miranda. I had a chance to see first-hand the terrific work they do. 

The Trust has been operating since 2007 and is now well established and highly respected. Since 2007 over 500 Department of Corrections clients have participated in their programmes through Community Service and 127 people have found employment through the Trust’s programme.

The Trust operates a nursery for native plants, shrubs and trees. People involved in their work training programmes propagate and raise the plants learning valuable work skills in the process. The Trust sells the mature native plants to local councils and government agencies such as the Department of Conservation on a “not for profit” basis.  Over 60% of the Trust’s operating income comes from sales of plants. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Family friendly policies are a hallmark of the Government’s policy agenda. We are committed to ensuring children get the best possible start to life. Latest figures show a record number of eligible four-year-olds are receiving a free B4 School Check, meaning most children are getting their hearing, eyesight, height, weight, and oral health assessments, as well as comprehensive health and development checks.

These checks help to give children the best start at school by identifying and addressing any potential health or developmental problems at an early age. This year, 92 per cent of four-year-olds received this free comprehensive health and development check.

Speaking of things ‘health’, too many of us get a dose of winter flu and for most it can be avoided by getting an annual anti flu vaccination. So I was pleased that this year’s programme to provide free vaccinations has been extended through to the end of August. The free vaccinations are available to people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, people with long term health conditions such as severe asthma, and children under five years who have been hospitalised for a respiratory illness. People with Down Syndrome and those with cochlear implants are also eligible for the vaccine.

For those not eligible for the free vaccine it is also available for purchase from general practices and many pharmacies. It’s a small price to pay for flu protection.

Free Calling Number for Kaiaua and Mangatangi Constituents.

Please note I’ve set up a linked telephone number for Kaiaua & Mangatangi (09) 232 2588 to provide a free telephone number for local people. The number will be answered in my Thames office. Please never hesitate to be in touch with me if you’d like to meet with me or just share your views on issues of the day.