NZ's busiest trauma centre Christchurch Hospital needs help to create a helipad

Christchurch Hospital, the only major hospital in New Zealand without a helipad, is due to have one completed early next year but is short of funding.

It's the busiest trauma centre in the country and the local rescue helicopter carries out about 700 missions a year, Seven Sharp reported.

Paramedics and trauma doctors are frustrated by the helicopter being unable to deliver patients directly to hospital, instead landing at the adjacent Hagley Park.

Transferring patients from there to Christchurch Hospital by ambulance can add another 13 minutes.

"They're critical patients that we deal with quite often and that 13 minutes means a great deal to their outcomes," said Mike McLintock, a helicopter paramedic.

Dr Dave Bowie sees first hand the effect of those lost minutes at the hospital.

"I try not to think about it, because I couldn't fix it at the time," he said.

"Time is muscle for the heart. Time is brain for a stroke and time is spinal cord for a spinal cord injury."

Following several plans for helipads in the past that have not eventuated, the only sticking point this time is funding. The pad planned for the hospital rooftop still requires donations from the public.

Dr Bowie said the government has paid for a large part of this project and a late change to the design meant finding more funding.

"We saw from experiences from other centres that having the ability to not simultaneously land two helicopters, but at least have availability park one and land another was useful."

Click here if you'd like to make a donation to the helipad campaign.


They have about 700 rescue helicopter missions a year, but they're the only major hospital without a helipad Source: Seven Sharp



Police staff are getting snapped by speed cameras at twice the rate of last year

Police staff have received more speed camera tickets in the first half of this year than they did during all of 2017.

Police's Road Policing Driver Offence Data statistics, released this month, shows the total number of police vehicles caught speeding by cameras each year.

Some of the incidents involve vehicles being driven in the line of duty to urgent jobs, and those tickets are waived, but if police are unable to justify the camera detection, they receive a fine like anyone else.

In 2015, the total number of offences not waived was 220, in 2016 it was 263, and last year it was 244.

This year, the statistics show police staff have already exceeded last year's total as of June 30, with a total of 260 offences recorded.

If police continue to be caught speeding at this rate, the total for 2018 could reach 520, which would nearly equal the 524 recorded in 2011 - the highest number of offences recorded in a year since 2009.

A disclaimer included with the release says "police employees who travel in excess of the speed limit are treated no differently to members of the public, and depending on the circumstances may be subject to further disciplinary action".

Police say they do not maintain an internal register of the officers who receive speeding fines.

The way police decide which fines are waived changed in 2014 - before then, any speed camera photo of a police vehicle with flashing red and blue lights on was deemed to be on duty, and the fine was waived automatically, but officers are now asked to explain the situation in all cases.

This change led to a significant rise in the number of detections, but the number of offences not waived stayed about the same.

The average number of speed camera detections against police vehicles (which were not waived) between 2009 and 2017 was was 357 per year.

Police have been asked for comment.

A digital speed camera in place on a New Zealand road.
A digital speed camera in place on a New Zealand road. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Meka Whaitiri says she accepts PM's call to sack her as she faces media barrage on return

Meka Whaitiri accepts Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decision to sack her as a minister, saying she is committed to self-improvement as she returned to parliament.

Ms Whaitiri was sacked as Customs Minister after an investigation by ministerial services into an alleged assault of a staffer during an event in Gisborne in late August.

The Prime Minister says she took action after an investigation deemed an incident did happen. Source: 1 NEWS

She batted away repeated questions from the media about the investigation and its findings, which she disputes.

“It’s been a debilitating time, but I really want to reflect on what I need to do to improve myself, to regain the confidence of the prime minister,” she said.

“I’m absolutely gutted, but I accept the prime minister’s decision but I’m going to work really hard and reflect on what I need to do to improve myself.”

“I can’t talk about the report until it’s released but like I said, I accept the prime minister’s decision.”

Ms Whaitiri, the MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, said she was grateful for the support from Māori caucus and others.

“Willie has declared and so have my Māori caucus members that they continue to have confidence in me to do the job that I was elected to do,” she said.

“You know, I’ve got a lot of work to do here on behalf of the people of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.”

“I’m very humbled by the support of the Māori caucus and those that have sent support but I’m here to do a job.”

“As I travel throughout the electorate we’re having meetings and I will tell them when I see them face-to-face my plans going forward.”

Whaitiri says she is determined to earn the Prime Minister’s trust back, and work hard for her electorate, after her sacking as a minister. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Fair Go: Relief at last for Taranaki woman who went two years without a flushing toilet or sewage system

Around 18 months ago Waitara woman Vicki Gundensen came to Fair Go with a unique problem.

"Yeah I had no toilet or sewage," she says as she showed us around her section. Vicki has a kitchen, living area, bedroom - everything a house needs apart from a bathroom, toilet and shower.

Vicki purchased the section two years ago. She put her life savings, $80,000, into it and checked with a number of people about whether the sewage was hooked up.

"Between the neighbour behind me, the real estate (agent), the previous owner and the photo I got from the [New Plymouth District] Council, I really did think the sewage was here."

The Council photo showed the pipe going into her house. Then when she went to dig for it she couldn’t find it.

"This is really frustrating. I've been digging all day," she said.

"I rang that fella at Council and he said it's definitely there. It was there in 2010."

She was puzzled.

"Maybe someone's pinched it," she says with a laugh.

"Then [the Council] rang me up and say oh really sorry; sometimes people make a mistake. That was their answer; they had made a mistake."

Vicki Gundensen’s sewage connection didn’t exist. The Council’s David Langford says the map has a disclaimer accepting no responsibility for its accuracy because it’s based on historic information.

"We encourage people to get a LIM report. The reasons for that is LIM reports are prepared with a higher degree of accuracy."

Following her appearance on Fair Go, Vicki received a phone call from the Council and ultimately a visit from some contractors.

"The very next day the Council rang me and had people coming around to get quotes to put the sewage on."

So Vicki went shopping.

"I went out and bought a toilet."

The Council paid for her sewage connection. The first flush was ceremonial.

"Oh it was exciting and we all stood around. My sister in Australia wanted to hear it flush so I flushed it for her."

Vicki wanted to thank the New Plymouth District Council. She tells us from her loo, she loves her throne so much she keeps the door open.

"It’s a loo with a view," she says with a wide grin.

Around 18 months ago a Waitara woman came to Fair Go with a unique problem. Source: Fair Go


Sanitarium loses court battle over Weetabix import

Sanitarium has lost its case against a British goods importer for selling a product with a similar name to Weetbix.

Sanitarium is trying to block the importation of Weetabix.
Source: 1 NEWS

The cereal giant took Christchurch store A Little Bit of Britain to the High Court over its British cereal Weetabix, arguing it breached the Fair Trading Act.

Sanitarium claimed customers could be misled into thinking the imported version was in fact its own Weetbix product.

Justice Gendall today released his reserved decision which said there was no chance of customers being misled, given the cereal was only on sale at a British speciality goods store.

However he did find the store had breached the Trade Marks Act and that it would need to cover up the Weetabix brand if it was going to sell the cereal in future.

The judge has asked both sides to make submissions on whether either side should be liable for costs.

Because they breached the Trade Marks Act, the 108 cartons being held by Customs will have to be destroyed.

The judge made the point that the cereal was already past its use-by date and would not be able to be sold anyway.

RNZ has approached Sanitarium and the owner of the A Little Bit of Britain store for comment.

- www.rnz.co.nz