Two weeks free dental care for Wairoa sees town 'inundated' with those struggling, get a checkup

A Hawke's Bay iwi's annual initiative to raise awareness of oral health is experiencing unprecedented demand.

The initiative sees free dental care provided for two weeks in Wairoa to try and help those struggling in the community and improve the country's poor dental care record.

"It's a good cost saver for my family otherwise it's quite dear in Wairoa to go to the dentist for all of us," local resident Bruce Te Kaihaka said.

A state of the art mobile clinic manned by volunteers from Lumino The Dentists visits the low income district once a year.

"We are totally oversubscribed. I think over 100 people are already booked for this week we need to keep it quiet that we are coming or we are inundated," Tony Dey of Lumino Dentists told 1 NEWS.

Ministry of Health figures show only 54 per cent of Kiwis visit the dentist when they think it's urgent, citing cost as the main barrier.

"We see stuff that we would call it late presentation problems that have been around awhile that if dental care was more easily accessible we may not have got to that point," Mr Dey said.

Dental care is only free nationwide for those under the age of 18 and the iwi behind the programme, Ngati Pahauwera, would like to see it extended to include the elderly and solo parents.

"There needs to be some kind of subsidy for certain categories of people," chairperson of Ngati Pahauwera Toro Waaka said.

For now they're working to extend the annual programme to the wider Hawke's Bay, to keep smiles bright across the region.

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



Yellow Pages called 'blatant paper-waste' as users urged to opt out with deadline looming

There are calls for households to "opt out" of receiving their Yellow Pages book this year, amidst concerns the telephone directory is old fashioned.

Hundreds have taken to Facebook arguing the directory isn't environmentally friendly and people can easily look up numbers and addresses online.

The deadline for Aucklanders to opt out of the Yellow Book is tomorrow, with delivery of this year's edition set to start in Auckland on March 16.

So far more than 14,000 Auckland households have decided not to receive the Yellow Book. 

Among those who've encouraged the idea of opting out of the book is Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick.

"Internet savvy Facebook folks - if you end up recycling your Yellow Pages each year because you know your way around the WWW, why not opt out of wasting the paper in the first place? It takes two seconds, but get onto it asap," she posted.

Businesses have also joined the calls, including Nature Body which wrote: "We are all about to get our annual pile of unwanted, antiquated, blatant paper-waste (the yellow pages). Before you throw it straight in the recycling bin... why not permanently opt out from getting one delivered in the first place!"

Households have had the option to opt out of receiving the Yellow pages since 2015.

Yellow Pages Source: istock.com

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'If the language was a patient it would be on life support' - Historian believes Te Reo Maori in dire straits

A leading New Zealand historian claims Te Reo Maori is in dire straits and says many of the current approaches used to revitalise is are backfiring.

Professor Paul Moon says making te reo compulsory isn't the answer to regenerating the language. Source: 1 NEWS

Professor Paul Moon makes the claims in his new book Killing Te Reo Maori: An Indigenous Language Facing Extinction.

Speaking to TVNZ1's Te Karere Mr Moon says: "If the language was a patient it would be on life support".

"Every year, we see a new campaign, and new method, or a new idea which its backers promise will revitalise Te Reo Maori," Mr Moon says in a statement.

"Some show a lack of rudimentary understanding of how languages survive or die, most are ill-conceived, and all ultimately fail."

Professor Moon has drawn on numerous studies and reports to argue that many of the current approaches to saving the Maori language are backfiring and the insistence on the correct pronunciation of Maori is damaging the language. 

"Te Reo Maori is reaching the point where it may disappear as a living language in just one generation," he says.

"A completely new approach is needed if there is to be any chance of saving it. If we continue on the current course, however, Te Reo Maori will cease as a living language."

Mr Moon suggests putting "resources into things like kohanga (reo) in particular and kura kaupapa – so there's a progression that works through".