Healthy homes advice service for Auck...
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Sally Blackwell
Healthy homes advice service for Auckland
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Pre-budget announcement today about a healthy homes advice service in Auckland.

Link to original press release:

Press Release – New Zealand Government
The Government’s fight to reduce New Zealand’s high rate of rheumatic fever among children will receive an additional $21.3 million over four years in Budget 2013, Health Minister Tony Ryall and Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia announced today.

“The new money almost doubles the substantial $24 million investment we are already making to combat rheumatic fever, as negotiated in the Relationship Accord signed with the Māori Party,” Mrs Turia says.

“As part of our Better Public Services focus, the Government has a target to reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two thirds to 1.4 cases per 100,000 people by June 2017,” Mr Ryall says.

“The disease predominantly affects Māori and Pacific children and the new money will help local communities and health providers to work together for at risk children.”  Mr Ryall says.

Budget funding will include:

• $11.25 million over four years for sore throat drop-in clinics. This nurse-led service will reach high-risk families whose children don’t attend schools with throat swabbing services or when it’s out of school term. The free clinics will be based in general practices and other community settings in parts of greater Auckland and Porirua.

• $4.72 million over four years for an awareness campaign, including home visits and information resources, to help vulnerable families understand how to protect their children from this disease.

• $1.6 million into research on a rheumatic fever vaccine.

• $3.75 million over four years towards an Auckland wide healthy homes referral and advice service. Poor quality housing and household over-crowding are contributors to this disease, particularly in Auckland.

“Government and community groups will work to ensure that families at high risk of having housing-related health problems, such as rheumatic fever, can be identified quickly and referred easily to the Auckland-wide healthy homes referral and advice service,” Mr Ryall says.

“That’s where they can be assessed for their housing needs – including help with insulation, curtains, heating and where appropriate re-housing.”

Mrs Turia says the focus of the extra investment in fighting rheumatic fever will be in communities in Porirua and Auckland that experience the highest rates of disease.


  1. Well that’s something! We’ve been begging for this kind of money for our Warm Fuzzies programme for years. Anyone know the back story behind this? I’m pretty sure that nothing like this is happening in Wellington as we would have (I hope) been involved in developing it or at least discussing options. Who’s involved in Auck?

  2. The announcement yesterday was the first I’d heard of it Phil. Interesting though eh? I’ll be interested to know if its building on an existing project or starting from scratch/stand alone… Does anyone know?

  3. Dunno, but seems inconceivable that community insulation providers aren’t involved somewhere. Will ask our local District Health Board contact.

  4. Governments (of all persuation I have to say) have a shameful track record of ignoring what is already happening so their announcement can trumpet a “new” initiative when invariably something pretty similar is being done. If you think that’s bad, watch Government departments take a ground zero approach when they want to build empires and start up programmes in opposition to another department. So I wouldn’t assume you would be involved Phil just because you are the best qualified to deliver the service. Two years ago this particularly minister cannibalised a well established programme so she could launch and fund a virtually identical Whānau Ora initiative. Its shocking and a waste of people and resources, and it happens. Cheers, Norman

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