Ambulance services call for more Government funding for proactive approach to health

Ambulance services are calling for more funding from the Government as they try to change the way they work to a more proactive approach to health.

Paramedics are now increasingly treating people in their homes and communities and are partnering with other health services to do it. 

St John chief executive Peter Bradley says up until 10 to 15 years ago, paramedics took 90 per cent of the patients they attended to hospital, but now that's down to around 65 per cent.

"So we see a massive change in both the quality and qualifications of our people to make sure patients get the right treatment at the right time at the right place," Mr Badley told 1 NEWS.

That work sees St John paramedics training marae around the country to use defibrillators. 

They're also referring people to quit smoking programs and providing blankets, sleeping bags and pajamas to many people in damp homes. 

St John is a charity but says it could do with more official support. 

"The public are fantastically generous to us. We really appreciate the support we get, but we believe going forward we need to see greater support from the government in terms of funding," he said.

Ambulance officers are looking to prove they can be more than just the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Paramedics say they'd rather be the ambulance at the top of the cliff than the bottom. Source: 1 NEWS

'They're starting from well behind the startline' - New crowdfunding platform aims to help Māori grow business

Access to cash to grow business has long been a problem for Māori entrepreneurs but now economists hope two new programmes will help change that and make the $40 billion sector more productive.

Tā Koha is a crowdfunding platform for indigenous businesses run by PledgeMe and the Māori Women's Development Inc.

Sharee Wilkinson is one of the first Māori entrepreneurs to use Tā Koha and is asking for $1.5 million for Moka Lashes – a product made from possum tails.

"It looks appealing. Women love lashes but men love lashes too," she said.

"I'd like to create all-natural adhesives that are 100 per cent from here - those things take time and they cost money."

The Māori economy is currently worth $40 billion but economists acknowledge that historically Māori businesses have struggled to attract investment.

One big issue small outfits face is that many Māori don't have homes to mortgage, BERL economist Ganesh Nana said.

"In terms of the base they're starting from, they're starting from well behind the startline," Mr Nana said.

PledgeMe has raised $27 million over six years but very little of it is for Māori – an issue chief lending officer Barry Grehan is looking to change.

"We'd seen access to funding improve but when we dug a little bit deeper the equity behind that distribution of money wasn't quite there," Mr Grehan said.

"There wasn't the diverse representation across communities in New Zealand."

Mr Nana said it's intriguing to see platforms like Tā Koha springing up.

"I think it is challenging and indeed exciting that we're beginning to see these new sources of capital become available to a much broader sector of the community."

Access to cash has been a problem for many Māori entrepreneurs. Source: 1 NEWS

Russia, Iran and Syria execute large-scale onslaught on Idlib despite warnings from US

Despite dire US warnings and fears of a humanitarian disaster, the Trump administration has little leverage to stop Russia, Iran and Syria pressing ahead with a massive military assault against Syria's northwest Idlib province.

Washington has threatened military action in case of a chemical weapons attack but its mixed messaging on retaining a US presence in Syria and a cut in aid has diminished its already limited influence over the seven-year conflict.

So the administration, which has criticised former President Barack Obama for his inaction on Syria after the war started in 2011, risks appearing powerless to prevent the three nations' plan to retake Syria's last rebel-held area. It's an operation that many warn will cause major bloodshed among a vulnerable population of 3 million people.

And yesterday, Syrian government and Russian warplanes targeted the province's southern edge in what activists described as the most intense airstrikes in weeks. More than 60 air raids killed at least four civilians in southern Idlib, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and rescue workers.

While the new US special envoy for Syria said this week that America will stay in Syria until the complete eradication of the Islamic State group, there's little assurance that President Donald Trump won't again seek the withdrawal of the roughly 2,000 US troops in the country.

And in a sign of the administration's shrinking commitment to Syria, it has pulled more than $200 million in stabilization funding for liberated areas, telling other nations they should step up to pay.

A summit in Tehran on Saturday between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was seen as a chance for a diplomatic solution before a full-scale assault on Idlib.

The three nations are all tacitly allied against IS and in support of a unified, stable Syria, but have differing views of how to achieve those ends.

After Saturday's talks, the UN envoy for Syria told the UN Security Council there were indications that the three leaders intend to continue talking to avoid a catastrophe. But above all, the summit highlighted the stark differences among these allies of convenience, with Putin and Rouhani opposing Erdogan's call for a cease-fire.

It's the heaviest bombing of Syria's rebel-held province in weeks and is only expected to worsen. Source: BBC


Trans-Atlantic rowing champ Rob Hamill out to sail around world on catamaran

Trans-Atlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill and his family have left their lives in New Zealand to set sail on an around the world journey where they hope to trace the route of his murdered brother Kerry.

But Hamill says the trip isn't as dark as it sounds.

"Just hanging out with my family and having fun and discovery and adventure and all that stuff," Hamill told 1 NEWS.

Hamill, his wife Rachel and their three boys have packed up their home in Waikato for an adventure on the high seas.

Their first destination - Fiji.

Hamill admits for the next year or two, living space will be tight.

"It's not actually that bad. We all have our own bedroom so if we do get a little claustrophobic, we can always go to our own space," he said.

They've already trialled life on board when they made a trip to the islands three years ago.

But this time, the Hamills want to follow the fatal journey Kerry took through Southeast Asia in 1978.

He was captured and killed by the Khmer Rouge when he strayed into Cambodian waters.

"Grief is a part of our Western culture that we don't deal with well.

"There's even evidence that grief can be passed on through your DNA and I guess I want to confront that head on."

It'll be an emotional trip for Hamill and his young family, retracing the steps of his murdered brother. Source: 1 NEWS

Eleventh arrest made in police's ongoing investigation into alleged race-fixing in NZ harness racing industry

Police have confirmed an eleventh arrest in their ongoing investigation into alleged race-fixing.

A 71-year-old man is due to appear in Christchurch District Court on Tuesday on a deception charge after he was uncovered by Operation Inca.

It comes after police began the operation last Tuesday when they conducted nine search warrants in Christchurch, one in Invercargill and another in Manawatū, leading to seven people being charged the following day.

A further three men were charged shortly after when police conducted a further six search warrants in Christchurch.

The investigation continues and police are urging anyone with information to contact or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

There are allegations of corruption in the $300 million industry, after police carried out 10 raids today. Source: 1 NEWS