Kiwis not eating enough fruit and vege, half of adults not exercising enough - study

We aren't eating enough fruit and vegetables, and half of adult Kiwis aren’t exercising for the recommended two-and-a-half hours every week, a study by the Ministry of Health has revealed.

Exercise New Zealand chief executive Richard Beddie joined Breakfast this morning to talk about the "slightly generous" self-reported figures.

"We generally find if anything, self-reported people give themselves a bit more credit than they probably deserve," Mr Beddie said.

He says the reason behind the alarming figures is due to "a failure on a whole bunch of different levels".

"A lot of the messages have been about what we ought to do, and that includes physical activity and, in fact, eating fruit and vegetables is just, 'Please do this'. If the message was that simple, then no one would smoke, no one would drink too much, we'd all exercise and we'd all eat fruit and veges.

"Quite simply, we're talking about something that's quite difficult because it's a behaviour change. Anyone that's ever tried to get a four-year-old to brush their teeth knows that behaviour change in human beings is difficult and we need to treat it as such."

Mr Bleddie says the way forward is for the government to "work with industry and industry to work with employers".

"Employers are part of the solution here in terms of working with 'what are the solutions that can make more people active?' It includes going to the gym, but it's not just going to the gym."

He says one of the solutions being discussed is tax, including implementing a sugar tax or taking GST off fruit and vegetables.

"At the moment, there's a really big disincentive for anyone to invest in exercise, particularly if you're an employer, because actually, fringe benefit tax applies, so a lot of the solutions we have for government is 'please get out of our way' so actually make it easy to invest in their exercise, whether that be through their employer, or a group of people wanting to do it."

Mr Bleddie's number one piece of advice: "For anyone out there who is not currently active is find the thing you like the most, and if you don't like any activity, then be honest with yourself and find something you hate the least and do that".

Exercise NZ CEO Richard Beddie joined Breakfast this morning to talk about the alarming figures and the failure of the government’s messages. Source: Breakfast

'Healthcare is in crisis' - registered nurse talks staff burnout, safe staffing accord

District health boards will today sign a safer staffing accord to allow for safer nurse staffing numbers.

Registered nurse Danni Wilkinson spoke to TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning about the importance of nurse safety.

"I think some wards are reasonably well-staffed a lot of the time, but in a lot of places, they are understaffed and we know that nurses aren't able to get to all the cares that we need to do," Ms Wilkinson said.

"The other problem that we're having is that people are getting called in on their days off or when they're on maternity leave; study leave is getting cancelled; annual leave is difficult at times and so there's just not enough nurses to call upon when those shifts are short-staffed.

"People are getting burnt-out because they're not getting their days off - they're not having their holidays."

Ms Wilkinson says lives are at risk - nurses and patients.

She says international research shows that "when nurses are caring for more patients than they should, the risk of mortality for those patients goes up and also that risk of adverse events goes up".

"If we can't get to anything but the essential things, we're not turning patients as often as we need to and doing those assessments and they're getting pressure sores or they're having falls, things like that so risk to patients is really high as well when we are short-staffed."

Ms Wilkinson says there currently isn't a lot of information around the safe staffing accord, which hopes to combat issues with staffing and health concerns within the profession, as it was "a surprise that was sprung on us on Friday".

"While I think, on the whole, it's a good thing and putting the responsibility back on to DHBs and the government to look after staffing and not making nurses worry about it."

"I'm a bit concerned about how it was presented to us and how it's come about. Nurses were not consulted. We were not asked, 'What do we need?' and we're the people using these tools so we should be consulted about what tools are going to be implemented."

She says nurses are "not thrilled" about the tools, known as Care Capacity Demand Management, which Ms Wilkinson says has been slowly implemented in DHBs for the past 15 years and are either “not correctly implemented” or “just not fit for use”.

"We've had data for 15 years. We've been using them in some areas for 15 years – no improvements have been made. I think that shows us, really, there are better ways to do this and this is probably not the best option."

Ms Wilkinson says nurses need to see "a really clear plan [in the accord] as to how they're going to attract and retain nurses into the industry, and there's been no talk about that yet."

"Healthcare is in crisis. We need to fix it and you can't wait any longer - it's just going to get worse.”

Registered nurse Danni Wilkinson spoke to Breakfast this morning about how understaffing is risking patients’ lives. Source: Breakfast


Could NZ First work with National in 2020? Winston Peters issues warning to Party president after 'whiskey-swilling' jibe

Winston Peters has come out swinging against National Party President Peter Goodfellow who said the party "dodged a whiskey-swilling, cigarette-smoking, double-breasted and irrational bullet", but the Acting Prime Minister would not rule out working with National despite the bad blood. 

It comes after Peter Goodfellow said National “dodged a whiskey-swilling, cigarette-smoking, double-breasted and irrational bullet". Source: Q+A

On TVNZ1's Q+A last night the Acting Prime Minister issued a warning to Mr Goodfellow, telling him it would "be the last time you give a free hit against Winston Peters and get away with it, I want to make that very clear".

"I don't think Mr Goodfellow really matters," he continued. "I went into the coalition negotiations in good faith for 11 long days, and he’s telling me it was a waste of my time when National were concerned."

Mr Goodfellow made the comments at the National Party conference over the weekend, reported NZ Herald.  

When asked by host Corin Dann if he could work with National in 2020, Mr Peters said it was for his colleagues to decide.

"We have never, ever ruled things out in that way as other parties have."

Dann interviews Winston Peters on medicinal cannabis, the economy, immigration and the return of Jacinda Ardern. Source: Q+A