1 NEWS Reporter
Volunteer lifeguard Danielle Mackay will be totally deaf in six months after waiting three years for a cochlear implant.
In that time she has completely lost hearing in one ear.
"I love hearing all the basic things in life, like hearing the cars parking, the trains tooting, people's voices, my family's voices, and even the tui singing in the morning," she told 1 NEWS.
"I don't want to lose those things. I'm really scared," she said.
Ms Mackay recently received a letter from health officials informing her she would not be getting an implant this year.
"I feel like, why am I not important?"
According to the Ministry of Health, there are 214 adults on the waiting list for implants, with a cost of up to $90,000 to go private.
The government spends just over $8 million per year on cochlear implants, enough for about 40 to 70 adults.
Minister for Disabilities Nicky Wagner said the waiting list is prioritised, with the average wait time of 13 months.
Green MP Mojo Mathers said there should be double the operations.
"They should just simply fund everyone who needs a cochlear implant, they need to clear the backlog," Ms Mathers said.
To donate to Danielle's cochlear implant, click here.
The Maori King has taken the unprecedented step of endorsing a candidate for the Maori Party - and the incumbent says she wants "a straight and clean campaign".
King Tuheitia today formally endorsed Tainui tribal leader Rahui Papa after he was shoulder-tapped by the King last year to stand in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.
Sources told 1 NEWS the announcement will be made at one of the king's annual poukai near Kihikihi, an event where he meets with Kingitanga followers at local marae.
Mr Papa said it was "overwhelming" and "humbling" to be endorsed by the King.
Maori Party President Tukuroirangi Morgan told 1 NEWS the move would change things considerably for the Maori Party.
"I think in the end he's the game changer ...the King is the game changer for the Maori Party," Mr Morgan said.
Rahui Papa is the chairman of his iwi's executive board and is a heavyweight amongst tribal leaders.
It sets up a battle royal with Labour's Nanaia Mahuta, who is the King's cousin.
"I intend to run a straight and clean campaign,' Mrs Mahuta said.
"It's not my intention to stand on the Labour list so it's a straight contest."
Ms Mahuta will be tough to unseat - she entered parliament in 1996 and has held the Hauraki-Waikato electorate since 2008.
In that time she has not been seriously challenged - her majority at the last election more than 7,000 votes.
That margin also more than both the Mana and Maori Party votes combined.