Between a number of pre-Budget announcements and Pike River re-entry, we've been busy tackling long-term challenges facing New Zealand.
Breaking the cycle of family & sexual violence
Last Sunday, we announced the biggest investment ever into family and sexual violence.
This package is about supporting survivors and ensuring the immediate safety of victims and children, expanding essential specialist sexual violence services and increasing victim support.
It also invests in prevention through information campaigns, both for the public and for specialists, and through intervention programmes. Those programmes help to both prevent violence occurring in the first place, and also work with perpetrators to prevent further violence.
Re-entering Pike River Mine drift
More than eight years after 29 men went to work at the Pike River Coal Mine and never came home, the promise to re-enter the mine drift has been honoured.
In the presence of families, experts from Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa-Pike River Recovery Agency completed breaching the 30m seal and successfully re-entered the Pike River mine drift. Previously scheduled for 3 May, the milestone had been delayed following a false oxygen reading from a failed sampling tube.
"New Zealand is not a country where 29 people can die at work without real accountability. That is not who we are. And that is why today we have fulfilled our promise." – Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry
Giving our ambulances a lifeline
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister Dr David Clark have announced extra support for road ambulance services to help them plan for a secure long-term future so they can continue providing life-saving care to Kiwis.
“New Zealanders know we have high quality ambulance services in St John and Wellington Free Ambulance, but we can’t take them for granted,” Winston Peters says.
“There is a growing demand for ambulance services, including in rural areas. Ambulances now respond to over 550,000 emergency 111 calls a year, with more than 440,000 calls resulting in an ambulance being dispatched.
“All New Zealanders value the vital work that paramedics, clinicians and 111 emergency call handlers perform day in and day out to improve patient outcomes.