Election Special – St Albans News

elections2020 In this special issue, meet the candidates standing for election in Christchurch Central and also New Zealand’s geographically largest electorate Te Tai Tonga, which covers the whole of the South Island and a bit more besides, for those on the Māori roll. Then there are referendums on End of Life (assisted dying) and cannabis control -find out what candidates think. The issue finishes with a brief look at the by-election candidates standing for the central Christchurch community board – the central ward reaches as far as Canon St and the eastern end of Edgeware Rd. Click on the image to the right and download the special issue and dip into it to find the candidate who best aligns with your own values.

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It’s all go in St Albans – August News out now

We feature the partly-built St Albans Community Centre on the front page of the August/September issue of St Albans News.It now has a roof and walls and the St Albans Residents Association, which managed the old centre for more than 17 years experience running a community centre will be doing it again from February 2021. St Albans is a hive of activity: the St Albans Skatepark is about to expand (in October). A former nurse at Calvary Hospital remembers times past and SARA celebrates St Albans Day with a picnic in the park. The road works have ramped up, apparently to get it all finished ASAP but it’s like living in a maze where we are marshalled with orange cones and no right hand turn signs, facing long trips to move from one part of the suburb to another. Walk to hospo outlets like Ristretto Cafe in Barbadoes St opposite St Albans Park, who have lost their street parking and are doing it tough, and enjoy a proper coffee.

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All the latest in St Albans News

We’ve come a long way in eight weeks – from CoVid19 Level 4 lockdown to Level 3 takeaways to Level 2 bars reopening. Level 1 with even more freedom looks likely before the middle of June. Life’s getting a little easier but we aren’t out of the woods yet. The June/July edition of StAN gathers some of the signs of the times we probably won’t remember in a generation’s time and we take a (virtual) walk with Grandad under Level 3. The Northern Corridor looks is now due to open in January, not because of a delay but so the new express bus services from Kaiapoi and Rangiora can open at the same time and help reduce the number of cars carrying only one passenger heading through St Albans. The CNC is on track for completion in December. There’s just so much going on with the roads in St Albans, where do we start – ah, let’s start with some of the intersections in Cranford St.

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Special issue of St Albans News: Covid19

Special issueLooking forward to a takeaway flat white or a mouthwatering burger? After five weeks in lockdown shackles have been loosened slightly in the battle against the coronavirus so you can pick one up, at a distance. This special issue of St Albans News is devoted entirely to Covid 19. Lots of photos of Anzac Day poppies and teddy bears decorating St Albans front lawns. We are still meant to stay home but we can go out for exercise. Walls closing in at home? Head out with your bubble mates on the self-guided Great St Albans Treasure Hunt, created for your edification by Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb.

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St Albans News goes digital under lockdown

Well, well we are now living in lockdown in the shadow of CoVid, that nasty virus that is turning the world as we know it upside down. Unfortunately, our printer wasn’t deemed “essential” so we couldn’t get St Albans News April/May edition printed. So this is it. Share widely with friends and neighbours. Print it if you like on a home printer. We did save some space for stories about other things going on in St Albans. The motorway extension responsible for bringing more traffic into St Albans in future won’t open till at least December. Intrepid grandad goes in search of the source of St Albans Creek with two sidekicks. Plus lots more. Click the image to the right to download the pdf.

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First issue of St Albans News for 2020 now on file

Nearly 10 years after the first quake put the old community centre out of action, work has finally started on its permanent replacement. The whole of St Albans will pretty much be a construction site for the next six months with the roadworks preparing to funnel traffic off the motorway through St Albans to the inner city.Some of that work it is hoped will slow traffic down and make it safer for residents. Abberley Park is marking 80 years as a heritage park with a picnic in February. There’s a warning to check onsold houses with inadequately repaired quake damage and we learn more about a children’s book with a watery setting written by a local author. Plus lots more. Click the image to the right to download the pdf.

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Christmas edition St Albans News

coverWe are about to enter the Twenties, but before we get there, here’s the last edition of St Albans News for the 2010s. It includes a small Christmas section, major changes for the residents association, council giving the green light to stage 1 of the downstream roadworks enabling motorway traffic to head through St Albans (hopefully not too many cars through side streets) into the city and news about a petition to Parliament to reduce the use of plastic in supermarkets. We managed to fit a few other items of interest in there as well. Click the image to the right to download the pdf.

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Bumper election issue St Albans News

So many people want to represent citizens in St Albans, the October/November issue is full to the brim and overflowing. The bumper election issue contains snapshots of candidates for the Mayor, Council and several community wards (eg: Central, Innes, Fendalton, Papanui) and, at 24 pages, our largest ever edition. A joint board meeting to hear oral submissions and discuss possible road plan changes had to be adjourned in the middle of question time (since resumed and concluded). We managed to fit a few other items of interest in there as well. Click the image to the right to download the pdf.

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A note or two about the election issue

We took a risk sending the election issue to the printer a couple of days before the nominations for candidates closed and one new candidate has joined the Christchurch Central electorate ballet, someone called Laurie Hayden who, in a field full of party representatives, describes themselves as independent. The Mana party also seems to have disappeared off the ballot.

Matiu Thoms is now contesting the Te Tai Tonga electorate for AdvanceNZ (which merged with the Public Party) while Raymond Tuhaka is standing for the New Conservatives.

In the pressure to get this issue finished, an error was made on page 11 and not picked up in time: there is a reference to David Farrier, it was in fact David Farrar who wrote the article published in Spinoff on September 14 (here is a shortcut to that page https://bit.ly/3hP2LQG) and apologies to both of those individuals for getting them mixed up and anyone inconvenienced. Even though our own fact checking could have been better in this instance, it’s worth a read if you want to see what happens when populism and a patchwork of unscientific ideas about how the world works converge and get a new party noticed. Do take care because there are lot of conspiracy theories out there. Disinformation is only getting worse, so use those votes wisely.

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Time to spring clean the garden

Now is the time for a good winter clean up as spring approaches. This includes tidying up all those dead leaves and stray weeds that can harbour fungal spores and other nasties that will quickly overtake plants if left unchecked now. Continue reading

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Residents Association AGM and speaker

St Albans Residents Association (SARA) is seeking new people to join the committee (to share or gain governance skills) and support community activities in St Albans at its AGM on September 22 at 4pm at the St Albans Tennis Club.

SARA has an exciting year ahead with the employment of a community activator and the new community centre up and running late 2020.

Speaker Michael Reynolds the founder and coordinator of the Roimata Food Commons will be leading a discussion on how we can best use the grounds of the community centre on Colombo St when the new centre opens.

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Health board election candidates revealed

The following candidates (so far) have responded to a questionnaire from St Albans News seeking  information about the Canterbury District Health Board Elections on October 12:

Peter Ballantyne
Peter Ballantyne

Peter Ballantyne has considerable experience in the health sector having served as Deputy Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board and Chair of the West Coast District Health Board.
Peter believes the health board has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of Cantabrians, but has been constrained by lack of funding. “It’s time for Canterbury to get its fair share. I am well-placed to advocate strongly for equitable funding for our health needs in Canterbury.
“This, combined with efficiencies in service, will enable more funds to be available to meet the increased demands of health issues such as mental health, cancer and elective surgery in order to ensure that our communities get well, stay well and live well closer to home.
“There is also need to remove the capital charge, and progress the rate of our facility rebuilds to ensure our people receive timely and appropriate treatment in modern hospital facilities.”

Previously a partner in the international consulting firm Deloitte, Peter currently serves on the CDHB Quality, Finance, Audit, and Risk Committee and on the University of Canterbury Council.

If you wish to contact Peter you can email him at prballantyne@yahoo.com

Geoffrey James Booth – Independent

Geoff Booth’s reason for standing for the health board is personal. He lost his 21 year old son to suicide a couple of years ago and wants to be part of the board conversation about mental health and suicide prevention. “I have a lived experience of what it is like as a parent to deal with the aftermath of suicide. The current board does not have this insight. The current suicide stats show that what we are currently doing is not working. It is time for change.” Parking at the public hospital is also an issue that needs improving. Geoff Booth works as a sales manager, is on the board of trustees at his local school and has held a national role in the NZ Ostomy Society. You can find Geoff Booth on Facebook.

Sally Buck – Independent

Sally Buck

Sally Buck would bring to the role of health board member considerable experience in the disability sector, where she is / or has been a disability advisor, speech and language therapist and early intervention teacher. She is also standing as a community board member for the Christchurch City Council’s central ward where she has been a member for several terms, gaining governance experience in this role and as a director or trustee of a number of organisations. “I care about people and want to ensure everyone can easily access the health care that they need and that health care is delivered based on putting people first.” She identified waiting lists for surgery, older peoples health, disability, mental health, high cost of dental health, non-funding of certain drugs, the underfunding of CDHB from the Ministry of Health and car parking at Christchurch hospital as issues of particular interest to Canterbury people. If you want to contact Sally she is available on 3792820 or 0210580392 or email at: bucksally1@gmail.com

Gray Crawford

Former manager of Social Services at the Christchurch City Mission, Gray Crawford has many years’ experience providing crisis intervention services. to people at risk through poor physical and mental health, domestic violence, financial mismanagement, homelessness and drug/alcohol addiction.

Gray’s health management experience dates back more than two decades. In that time he has also been the manager of Victim Support, providing emotional support to victims of serious accidents, crime and other trauma and previously manager of radiology at Christchurch Public Hospital. Some time ago he was an ACC rehabilitation officer at the Burwood Spinal Unit providing spinal patients with vocational and social rehabilitation services.

Gray currently chairs the NZIM Foundation and is a member of a multidisciplinary alliance formed to promote and protect equitable health care services through better co-operation between government agencies, not for profits and the general community. He is also a Judicial Justice of the Peace, a member of Rotary Sunrise and is on the Mayor’s Welfare committee.

Ministerial consultancy appointments have included Chair of the Health and Disability Ethics Committee (Upper South Island) and a membership of the Lottery Welfare grants committee.

Gray sees good health as a basic human right but fears our expectations of hospitals might not be sustainable. Service demand is growing due to “a greater ethnic diversity in Christchurch, people living longer, poor diets, easier accessibility to alcohol/drugs, inadequate housing, increased domestic violence and mental health/social isolation.”

Heightened expectations around salary and wages by health staff also put pressure on delivery of services.

“It is essential health is seen as a community issue and that we empower (better integrate) families, primary health services and not for profit social services (even businesses?) in working more collaboratively together, with quality/timely information sharing to improve and protect the best health outcomes for all.”

Find out more about Gray Crawford on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/graycrawford

Vicki Tahau Paton

Real estate agent Vicki Tahau Paton is concerned for people living in poor housing.

“Our most vulnerable/compromised are living in substandard conditions, there is a huge increase in respiratory issues in the winter because of this. Private landlords can be fined but our City Council and Otautahi Community Trust get a dispensation.  This is unacceptable, tenants and the CDHB should be able to invoice them for what it costs for Healthcare.  It is a health and safety matter, it needs to be taken more seriously.”

Prior to involvement in real estate,  Vicki spent more than 20 years working with pharmacies throughout the South Island.

 She has a management and governance background and has an understanding of what is required to sit on a board and says she is driven by solutions and has zero tolerance for over promising and underdelivering.

Brian Salisbury – Independent

Brian Salisbury, a registered nurse with governance experience on school boards of trustees, identifies the ongoing shortage of hospital staff in Canterbury as one of the greatest issues facing the hospital board.

“Poor staffing means unsafe and inadequate care, long waiting lists and delayed recovery. My aim to provide a staff voice on the board to ensure those working within the CDHB are heard and advocated for.

“When staff feel valued and enjoy their jobs, they will be less likely to leave. Additionally, better working conditions will attract more staff. By looking after staff they will be able to better look after you and your loved ones.”

He also wants to address parking around the hospital and minimise the CDHB’s environmental footprint.

For more information check out:

Peter Wakeman
STOP Trashing Our Planet

Businessman investor and retired airline pilot Peter Wakeman is passionate about Canterbury and Christchurch and doesn’t think central government is funding the health board sufficiently.

He says Increasing poverty is affecting well-being “therefore I would lobby government for change and raise income levels for residents.”

Peter says the city’s drinking water is being affected by nitrates from dairy cows but Central Government lacks leadership for reducing them.

He wants to see alternative behaviour treatments such as diet and exercise provided as they play an important role in good health.. .

For more information check out this video: Youtube video
and website:

There are so many candidates standing for election this year we are running out of space in the printed News and have opted to place the health board candidates answers on the website. Information from other candidates has been received and will be posted shortly.  Voting papers are being posted.

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