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Westies shouldn't pay for their neonatal unit twice
John Tamihere

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Westies shouldn't pay for their neonatal unit twice
John Tamihere

You will appreciate that as a community advocacy group, Whanau Waipareira has consistently stood up for a better range of services into the west Auckland district, whether it be more social housing, better education and schooling or better health or welfare services.

It is always breath taking when you look at the number of MPs representing West Auckland in Wellington around the Cabinet table as Ministers, regardless of whether National or Labour are in power.

Under the present coalition government, West Auckland is served by the Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni, the Minister of Housing and Transport Phil Twyford, the Minister of Corrections/Tourism and Deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis and the Minister of Whanau Ora and Youth Affairs Peeni Henare.


But a recent announcement made about dollars being voted in health to different hospitals, shows just how badly discriminated against the west really is.

$305 million has been allocated to upgrade the Auckland Hospital buildings.

A further $220 million has been voted to upgrade North Shore Hospital.

There will be an even bigger spend when the true ailments of Middlemore Hospital are properly diagnosed.

But guess what Waitākere Hospital gets?

According to the Waitematā District Health Board, it is considering contributing $1 million to a premature babies unit at Waitākere Hospital.

The rest of the money is coming from donations including Douglas Pharmaceuticals, matching the WDHB's $1 million.

The Douglas family pioneered the better pricing and distribution of pharmaceuticals to all New Zealanders and invested in their plant to achieve this in Henderson. They are a family that have bought enterprise, employment and economic activity to the west and have proceeded to go even further in regards to the Douglas Foundation donations.

The local liquor and pokie trust is donating $2 million.

It is not the role, or responsibility of the liquor and pokie trust to be subsidising central government obligations and duties to the west Auckland population.

Their funds should not be used this way.

It is about time that West Auckland MPs - regardless of party affiliations - and West Auckland Ministers stood up for this region to ensure we get a fair feed of the sausages.

It beggars belief that we have to fund the building of our hospital through Givealittle and donations when major hospitals on the North Shore and Auckland city get handed hundreds of millions of dollars.

In my opinion, the liquor and pokie trust money should be reinvested back into the west and not by way of subsidising central government's duties and responsibilities to west Aucklanders.

There will be more about this continuing saga in the very near future because when you put this together with the cost of after-hours care for Westies, we have to stand up and stop being everybody else's ATM machine out here.

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