New Zealanders vote overwhelmingly in support of free dental care in 1 NEWS poll

New Zealanders have voted strongly in agreement with a policy of free dental care, according to a 1 NEWS Facebook poll. 

Cash-strapped residents of the Hawke's Bay town are keen to take up the volunteer dentists' services. Source: 1 NEWS

It asked, "Should dental care be free?"

The question came after calls for more affordable dental care in New Zealand mentioned recently by former Prime Minister Helen Clark. 

In the non-scientific poll, 4,600 voted for free dental care and only 93 voted against. 

The top comment was from reader Cathryn Lucy who wrote: "Not free, but subsidised would be very useful, and to all those people saying 'but that makes tax note expensive!' - so what? I'd happily pay more tax for subsidised dental care just like we do health care."

Paulus Chapman commented: "People need to be realistic. The average hourly rate for a Dental Surgeon in NZ is over $400 P/H. It's a great idea, but, how do we as a Country 100 per cent subsidize that? It could be subsidized to a degree, but, not 100%, the cost would be too immense."

Alley Wealleans wrote: "Yes it should be [free], or if not free at least maybe a one off fee."

Jenny Jury Tooth commented: "Tooth issues can mean time off work, infections more time off work perhaps job loss. Get it sorted and no job loss no extra cost due to constant infections."

Some families in Hawke's Bay are struggling to afford dental care. Source: 1 NEWS

To vote in the poll, click here. 

Historic South Canterbury church 'completely gutted' by fire

A historic church in South Canterbury has been "completely gutted" after a fire last night.

Crews were alerted to the blaze on the corner of Methven Highway and Winchmore School Road just before midnight.

It took four crews two hours to extinguish the flames which engulfed the Winchmore Church.

There were no reports of anyone being trapped or injured in the fire.

According to an online real estate listing, the church has stood there for over 100 years, but wasn't being used for services.

It was sold just last month.

Fire investigators and police are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Fire generic
File picture. Source: 1 NEWS



Mother of Hamilton teen in hospital recovering from toxic shock syndrome warns about risk of tampons

A Hamilton teenager who was diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome expects to be out of hospital by the middle of the week, with her mother warning others about the risk of using tampons.

Chloe Jordan's been in ICU after she became ill over the weekend with acute kidney failure.

She's now in a stable condition and her mother Jessica Jordan says her health is improving each day.

"It's a long recovery because she has had that failure to her kidneys and internal organs, so it's just a matter of repairing herself and taking it easy," Ms Jordan said.

She also has a warning about the use of tampons saying: "It's just being aware of what you're putting inside your body."

Chloe's early symptoms included vomiting, diarrhea, a temperature, a dangerously low blood pressure, ulcers in her mouth and a rash.

"It was really scary," Ms Jordan said.

"They thought she might have meningitis or scarlet fever and then they realised quickly that she had toxic shock syndrome."

Toxic shock syndrome is caused by an airborne bacteria getting into the bloodstream.

Infectious diseases specialist at Auckland City hospital Associate Professor Mark Thomas says it’s a rare condition.

Chloe Jordan was admitted to hospital after she became violently ill while on her period. Source: 1 NEWS

"It might be seen in any hospital in New Zealand one or two, maybe ten times a year," he said.

The Ministry of Health says from 2010 to 2015 there was a total of 31 hospitalised cases.

A spokesperson says TSS can affect anyone, but it is more common among women when they are menstruating.

Of the hospitalisations for the syndrome between 2010 and 2015, 19 cases were females.

Associate Professor Mark Thomas says in the past toxic shock syndrome was associated with tampons that were made to be left in for long periods of time.

"Since those were discontinued it's not been a common problem associated with menstrual products," he said.

Chloe's mother was told by doctors her infection was likely caused by tampons.

She was using the brand Kotex, the same as that of American model Lauren Wasser, whose extreme case of toxic shock syndrome in 2012 had a drastic outcome. Both her legs were amputated.

In a statement to 1 NEWS about Chloe’s illness, Kotex said: "We are eager to understand the facts behind this case and are currently in contact with the family involved so we can understand this situation further".

Tampon products come with warnings on their boxes about the risk of toxic shock syndrome, with further details inside.

Chloe Jordan's been in intensive care after the condition left her with acute kidney failure. Source: 1 NEWS