Middlemore Hospital's defective buildings: Jonathan Coleman, David Clark were warned of problems

Both the current and former health ministers were given documents warning them about the "very poor" state of hospital buildings in Auckland.

The revelation comes as both David Clark and Jonathan Coleman say they weren't informed about problems at Middlemore Hospital including toxic mould and leaking sewage.

David Clark and Jonathan Coleman have denied knowing the extent of the state of Middlemore. Source: 1 NEWS

RNZ reports Dr Coleman (as Health Minister) was sent a report by DHB bosses warning of problems with buildings. The report didn't name specific buildings.

The broadcaster also reports Mr Clark "was sent a health plan from the region's DHB's that stated many facilities were not 'fit for purpose'".

The pair signed off on regional health plans covering the four northern region district health boards in 2016 and 2017 which show between 17 and 18 per cent of the hospital buildings were in a poor or very poor condition.

Health minister David Clark has written to the acting chair of the Manukau DHB ahead of his final decision. Source: 1 NEWS

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS



Mount Ruapehu crater death prompts warning

A second death at Mount Ruapehu's crater lake in 12 months has prompted calls for people to take extra care at the top of the mountain.

A man's body was pulled from the lake by members of the group he was with yesterday afternoon.

Another man died at the lake one year ago.

Ruapehu District Mayor Don Cameron said the snow was becoming soft around this time of year, and people needed to be extra vigilant at high altitudes.

"I understand it's a skiier that's fallen in, but also apparently someone climbing also slipped on the ice and lost their ice axe," he said.

Mr Cameron said people venturing near the crater lake should take extra advice before heading up, or stick to well known trails.

Yesterday's death is being referred to the coroner.

An American tourist also died while skiing on Mount Aspiring yesterday.

Police said the 35-year-old man was skiing downhill toward the Bonar Glacier when he fell and died.

Another person they were skiing with attempted first aid but the man died at the scene.

An investigation into his death is now underway.

rnz.co.nz

Good news for skiers and snow boarders as a $10 million grant helps the project get off the ground.
Source: 1 NEWS

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Plane substance drop ruled out in mystery school illness

The 10 students from Carterton's South End primary school that were hospitalised due to an unusual smell will be back at school tomorrow.

Police now believe they can rule out initial reports that a plane flying overhead may have dropped a toxic substance on the school. Source: 1 NEWS

Multiple students fell ill on Friday afternoon following reports of an unpleasant smell.

Originally the smell was thought to have come from a plane that flew near the school but police have ruled that out after speaking with the pilot.

South End board of trustees chairman Brian Chin said it will be business as usual tomorrow for everyone at the school, including the children who fell ill.

"All children were discharged on Friday evening. They were sent home with information about what to do if they feel unwell again.

"They have contact numbers on hand if they feel unwell again and at this stage we envisage all those children will be at school again on Monday," Mr Chin said.

Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said the police were turning their focus to neigbouring properties and the surrounding area to find the source of the smell.

"There will be a couple of people in the [neigbouring] houses that we haven't spoken to and we'll be looking closely at the area to see whether there's anything in our police intelligence systems that may indicate where this smell may have come from."


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New charges revealed: Jobseeker with 'Devast8' across his face is back before the courts

A man with 'Devast8' tattooed across his face, who last year opened up about his job struggles as he tried to turn his life around, is back before the courts.

Mark Cropp - also known as 'DEVAST8' due to his distinctive facial tattoo.
Mark Cropp - also known as 'DEVAST8' due to his distinctive facial tattoo. Source: Screenshot/NZ Herald

Mark Cropp, 21, will face two charges of assaulting a female and threatening to kill.

The NZ Herald reports Mr Cropp will face a judge alone trial in November.

Mark Cropp became internationally known last year after he approached the Herald about not being able to get a job because of his inked face.

He said his brother tattooed the nickname 'Devast8' on his face during a heavy night drinking in jail.

On his release from jail, Mr Cropp wanted to get off the employment benefit so he could put food on the table for his family and to do that he needed a job.

But, employers didn’t take him seriously.

"One employment place said to me 'I wouldn't employ you with that on your face, I wouldn't even take a second look at you'," he told the Herald last year.

"I've had other people that just shrugged and laughed at me."

Last year the 21-year-old revealed his regret over the tattoo., saying:  "Once it was started, I thought, I can't go back on it now," he said of the night his brother tattooed the word on his face,

"I wish I had stopped while the outline was there to be quite honest."

Despite the regrets he initially wanted to keep the tattoo and hoped potential employers could look passed it.

However, after his Herald interview the story went viral and he decided to have it removed.

He accepted an offer from Sacred Laser in Kingsland to have it removed for free and he attended one appointment but did not return for further work.

New Zealand Herald


Drink is the drug of choice for baby boomers, new study reveals

Up to 40 per cent of older New Zealanders are engaging in hazardous drinking, a study has found.

Researchers from Massey University and the University of Auckland explored the prevalence of hazardous drinking in 4000 New Zealanders aged 50 years and over.

Hazardous drinking was defined as alcohol consumption that puts the person at risk of immediate harm, such as hospitalisation, or long-term harm such as cancer.

About half of older males and a quarter of older females were hazardous drinkers.

Research co-leader Dr Andy Towers said he wasn't surprised by the results.

"What we know from around the world is that we have a cohort of baby boomers that are drinking much, much more than any previous generation of retirees before.

"Drink is the drug of choice for baby boomers."

While awareness campaigns mainly focus on binge drinking in young people, little is known about harmful alcohol consumption in older adults.

"Our discussions about alcohol use shouldn't just be about binge drinking or whether someone has a problem... hazardous drinking is about how much you're drinking and whether - even it's a low amount - whether it's appropriate if you have medication use and [if] you have certain health conditions."

There are greater risks for older drinkers as their bodies become more sensitive to alcohol, Dr Towers said.

"We're not down to the point where we can provide really nuanced information or guidelines, we just say, in general, if you have this and you have this and you're taking medication, you really shouldn't drink."

The research team is now working with the Health Promotion Agency with the intention of developing a GP alcohol screening tool.

"One of the big problems we have is that a lot of GPs, a lot of practice nurses, feel uncomfortable talking to older adults about alcohol.

"We need to start talking about alcohol use with our parents and our grandparents."

The study reveals that New Zealand youth drinking culture is actually a "New Zealand culture" issue, Mr Towers said.

rnz.co.nz

But advocates say the service will only exacerbate New Zealand's binge-drinking culture.
Source: 1 NEWS