Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 17 April 2009 Contents 17 April, 2009 | Page 3
The last air transport flight touched down
at the Waiau airstrip, near Te Anau last
week, with all commercial services to be
based at Manapouri from now on.
The last two Air Fiordland planes to land
performed a fly-by over the airstrip before
touching down just before 6pm on April 9.
Passengers were offered a celebratory
glass of wine after they disembarked.
The Waiau strip has been formally
downgraded and all commercial
transport operations for Te Anau will
now be run from the upgraded airport at
Fittingly, the last air transport flight to land
at Waiau was piloted by Russell Baker who
was at the controls of the very first plane
to land there when the airstrip opened
in 1972. At that time he was flying the
Fiordland Aero Club’s Piper Cub.
All Air Fiordland flights would now operate
from the new terminal although the planes
would return to Waiau for refuelling and
overnight storage until the company’s new
hangar was built, probably in June.
It was an exciting move, Mr Baker said.
“We’re rapt to go to Manapouri.”
The last two air transport flights to land at the Waiau airstrip – Air Fiordland services piloted by Kiri Klein (left) and Russell Baker.
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“Nurses are very much on our side. The
doctors are keeping their options open –
understandably, because whichever way it
goes they’re reliant on the operation. It’s
tough on our staff.”
Dr Rousseau said it was true the proposal
had significant clinical support but the
structure of PHOs meant they had to have
a board and meet certain requirements in
terms of community representation.
“This proposal in front of us would have to
meet all of those requirements as well,”
Mr Ballantyne said the PHOs were hopeful
their track record would win through.
“We think we can survive because of the
good structure we’ve got set up,” he said.
“We’re confident we’ve got the community
and local government behind us.”
Dr Rousseau said there was no specific
timeframe to deal with the proposal and
it was probably optimistic to think all the
information could be gathered and a
recommendation made before the next
board meeting in May.
All three health boards approached would
make their decisions independently.
“The three boards operate independently,
however we are certainly collaborating on
the proposal,” Dr Rousseau said.
“Is there potential for a single PHO? Yes,
that’s always a possibility down the track
but there’s a long way to go.”
WHAT IS A PHO?
Primary Health Organisations (PHOs)
plan, coordinate, and fund primary
health care. They are responsible for
their own communities and addressing
local health needs. PHOs mainly involve
General Practices (medical centres) but
are increasingly involving other health
care providers, such as community
nurses, podiatrists, pharmacists,
dentists, and other groups.
All General Practices in Southland have
contracts with a PHO to provide primary
health care services to their community.
The PHO funds the General Practice for
each person enrolled with the practice.
Being enrolled with a PHO General
Practice means that funding is made
available to your GP to care for you and
your family. Depending on your age
and where you live, you can access
cheaper doctor visits and pharmacy
The PHOs receive funding from the
government through the District Health
Boards to subsidise a range of health
services. The funding is based on the
numbers and characteristics of people
enrolled with them (e.g. age, sex,
ethnicity, etc). The funding pays for:
• Providing better care and
treatment when people are ill by
improving the coordination and
linkage of services
• Helping people to stay healthy
by new and innovative health
• Reaching out to groups in the
community who have poor health
or who are missing out on primary
• More affordable care for the
Enrolment with a PHO takes place
at your usual General Practice. You
can only enrol with one PHO General
Practice at a time. If you visit another
General Practice you will not be eligible
to receive cheaper fees.
SOURCE: Takitimu PHO
Fly by signals final touch down at Waiau
fighting for survival
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