Rodney Times : December 21st 2010
3 RODNEY TIMES, DECEMBER 21, 2010 NEWS IN BRIEF Crash injuries A woman was taken to hospital on Tuesday with moderate chest injuries after her car left State Highway 1 in the Dome Valley and down a bank into trees. CCTV review Auckland mayor Len Brown plans to review the city's closed circuit television network in a bid to battle crime. The review is one of the 100 projects he has promised in the first 100 days of the Auckland Council. CCTV is becoming increasingly popular as a tool to prevent and detect crime as the technology becomes more widespread, sophisticated and cost effective. The issue for the new council is how best to coordinate the use of existing systems and to extend the use of CCTV in association with police, town centres, business associations and residents. The vast majority of systems operating on Auckland streets are owned by businesses, associations and agencies other than the council. The review will be completed by March. Boat donation To celebrate Surf Life Saving New Zealand's centenary BP is donating an additional $26,000 inflatable rescue boat or IRB to the surf life saving club that receives the most votes. Help your local club by voting at www. bpsurflifesaving.co.nz. Broadband The government should rapidly conclude tender negotiations for the Auckland region's rollout under the ultra-fast and rural broadband initiatives and ensure tenderers prioritise the Auckland region in their build, the Auckland Council's Economic Development Forum says. ''We estimate that the innovation, growth and productivity benefits to the Auckland region from the delivery of ultra-fast broadband are at least $900 million per year.'' Waitemata to trial bowel screening pilot Residents will benefit from a bowel screening pilot trial which has been awarded to the Waitemata District Health Board. The trial, which is expected to begin in October 2011, will help determine whether the screening programme should be rolled out nationally. This is fantastic news for the population of Waitemata and ultimately for New Zea- land as a whole, North Shore Hospital colorectal unit clini- cal head Mike Hulme-Moir says. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in New Zealand, and our death rate from it is one of the highest in the developed world. How- ever, international evidence shows that a bowel screening programme can save lives through early diagnosis and intervention. In 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, Waitemata district had the second-highest num- ber of colorectal cancer cases in the country. This is largely attributable to the district s higher pro- portion of older residents, as the likelihood of developing bowel cancer rises steeply from age 50. People who are diagnosed with bowel cancer, and receive treatment when it is at an early stage, have a 95 percent chance of surviving five years. After five years they have the same survival rate as someone who has never had bowel cancer. Over 100 residents living in the Waitemata district die of bowel cancer each year and we expect many of these deaths will be prevented through the screening pro- gramme we will be piloting, Dr Hulme-Moir says. About 130,000 people aged from 50 to 74 who live in the Waitemata district will be invited to participate. They will be sent a test kit in the mail, which they can complete at home and mail to a selected medical laboratory for assessment. If blood is detected then their GP will let them know, and arrange for a colono- scopy, a procedure in which a flexible tube is used to look inside their bowel. The doctor may take a small sample of tissue for further examin- ation, or remove polyps. Deputy chief executive Dale Bramley said the decision by the Health Minis- try to site the bowel screening pilot at Waitemata is a tremendous recognition of the district health board s capa- bilities and expertise. We are honoured that our strong focus on primary care and our success to date in other programmes such as breast screening has been acknowledged by the Minis- try of Health in choosing Wai- temata as the bowel screening pilot site, Dr Bramley says. Also fundamental to our success in winning this bid has been the tremendous sup- port and encouragement we have received from our regional district health board partners and the Northern Cancer Network. Walkway bridge on hold Temporary halt: Work on the walkway bridge is expected to be completed early next year. CONSTRUCTION of part of the Orewa West Cycleway and Walkway between Orewa College and the Western Res- erve is on hold. During the resource con- sent planning process the Conservation Department approved the building of a bridge over mangroves next to the estuary as part of the project but with a condition. DOC requested that the former Rodney District Coun- cil sign a marginal strips management agreement. It formalises the management and maintenance of the Crown-owned esplanade res- erve strips between Riverside Rd and Western Reserve. The council has maintained these strips for many years in conjunction with the adjoin- ing council reserves, Auck- land Council sports and rec- reation parks manager Ian Maxwell says. The management agree- ment provides for construc- tion works for the bridge abutment to be undertaken on the affected management strip, thus completing the bridge link between the col- lege and Western Reserve. The agreement is now with the Auckland Council and should be signed and com- pleted before Christmas, Mr Maxwell says. Bridge construction is expected to be completed early in the new year. Until then we ask people to stay away from the con- struction area. -- Caralise Moore Line-by-line review of council's budget called for Auckland councillors are reviewing the region s budget and activities for the next financial year from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. The combined long-term plans from legacy councils across the region would see some $1.5 billion invested in capital projects over the next two years, including signifi- cant investment in prep- aration for Rugby World Cup 2011. Strategy and finance com- mittee chairwoman councillor Penny Webster has called for a line-by-line review of the council s budget which took place last Tuesday. It is the first time council- lors have had the opportunity to look at the region s plans and corresponding budget and rates adjustment. Mayor Len Brown outlined his desire for a maximum rates increase target of 4.9 percent and said that there needed to be a balance between what we need to achieve and being prudent . We have started work to look at how this level of rates can actually be reduced, Mrs Webster says. We need to maintain the momentum to address the budget as we have a lot of work to do to reduce the pro- jected rates increase from 8.9 percent from the Auckland Transition Agency, to the 4.9 percent or less that the mayor is seeking to achieve. We have a significant pro- gramme of capital works on the horizon, much larger than any council has delivered in the past. We are looking at how realistic the planned timing of these capital projects is, and this may enable us to reduce rates. Auckland Council chief executive Doug MacKay will report to councillors in mid- February on the progress on efforts to achieve cost savings in the areas of procurement, more efficient work processes and how the council utilises its assets for best value. The rates increase, budget and work programme will be refined by officers and con- sidered again by councillors before a draft annual plan is released for public feedback on February 28.
December 16th 2010
December 23rd 2010