Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 3 April 2009 Contents 3 April, 2009 | Page 3
decision to increase the
patient travel allowance
would provide real
support for people in the
Takitimu Primary Health
Clutha-Southland MP Bill
English said this week.
The Government has just decided to
increase the mileage allowance that
patients can claim under the National
Travel Assistance (NTA) policy – the first
increase in 20 years.
“This extra funding will definitely meet
a need in the South – particularly when
we consider the number of people living
in rural areas who have to travel long
distances to access healthcare,” he said.
“I understand the Takitimu PHO is
already spearheading a trial to help
subsidise costs for patients who don’t
have the funds to travel to places like
Invercargill or Dunedin for specialist care.
“It’s these very people that the
Government wants to help and this extra
funding should go some way towards
The Takitimu PHO announced an initiative
to help patients subsidise transport costs
by allowing funding from within its own
budget to be used.
“Based on this initiative by the Takitimu
PHO, there’s obviously a real need for
this type of support. I commend the
PHO on taking this step, and hope the
Government’s latest increase will also
further reduce the burden for patients
around the South,” Mr English said.
The amount that patients can claim under
the scheme has increased from 20 to
28 cents per kilometre. The maximum
accommodation rate for eligible clients
has also been increased to $100 a night.
Te Anau’s new postie
Te Anau’s new postie has only
been on the job a few weeks
but already he’s run foul of
Two weeks after taking over
the mail run, Hamish Prentice
was ticketed by police for
driving on the footpath. To
remain within the law, posties
– whether on motorbikes or
pushbikes – are supposed to
drive along the road, entering
and exiting each driveway to
access the letterbox.
The infringement notice
carried an instant fine of $150
which took the gloss off the
joy of being his own boss.
However, Mr Prentice said the
police officer concerned had
given him a warning earlier
that same day so he held no
“It’s just one of those things.”
Besides, he’s heard on the
grapevine that posties in
Winton and Tuatapere also
slapped with a ticket in the
same crackdown so there was
some solace in knowing he
was not alone.
The post contractor’s position is a
quantum shift for Mr Prentice who was
previously the head chef at Te Anau’s
Distinction Luxmore Hotel. He wanted a
change in lifestyle and has relished the
chance to get out in the fresh air every
So far he’s loving it and can see himself
doing it for many years to come. Although
he does acknowledge that the
going has been pretty good so
“I haven’t had snow yet. I haven’t
had hail yet.”
He might have lived in Te Anau
for the past five years and earlier
went to high school here for
four years but he said he had
surprised himself by just how
little he actually knew the town.
“All those years of walking
around the town and you don’t
take any notice of the names of
the streets,” Mr Prentice said.
“Everyone has to bear with
me. I will catch up to [former
contractor] Toni [Waiwiri] sooner
or later. I might be a bit slower
for a couple of months.”
Mr Prentice said he was happy
to get feedback from residents
about how he was going.
“If the mail’s going to the wrong
place, ring me because I don’t know
otherwise,” he said.
Mr Prentice can be contacted on 027-201-
New postie runs foul of law
to meet a
DOC decides not to increase hut fees
The Department of Conservation will
not be increasing fees for huts and
campgrounds on public conservation land
“In these challenging economic times it is
common sense to ensure that people can
continue to enjoy the outdoors without
worrying about increased charges,”
Al Morrison, the Director- General of
“The family friendly policy of the Great
Walks being free to under 18’s, will be
retained,” Mr Morrison said.
“This summer, revenue from the
recreation facilities is holding up. New
Zealanders are staying at home and
enjoying camping and other outdoor
experiences on their conservation land.”
However, he said, the Department was
concerned at that some people were not
paying their fees.
“Costs continue to increase, international
visitor numbers are declining and this
means there are significant uncertainties
around future revenue,” Mr Morrison said.
“When people use facilities without paying
their fees that puts extra pressure on and
makes it harder to hold fees. It is unfair to
the majority who do pay.”
The department relies on honesty in many
places and Mr Morrison appealed to
people to pay the modest fees.
The department has also moved to an on-
line booking system that allows people to
secure places in huts on the Great Walks
two years ahead. Mr Morrison said this will
provide greater certainty for recreational
users and tourism operators, enabling
them to plan their trips well in advance.
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