Our health service needs more funding, not cuts. The Board must do its best with the funding provided. But we have a duty to make it clear to Government: if more is cut, patients will suffer. Waiting times will be longer and patients less safe. Cuts to illness prevention programmes mean even more patients putting stress on the system.

Everyone, young and old, throughout our region deserves high quality health services. Too many children are getting infectious diseases. The Board must listen to nurses, doctors and other health professionals and the communities they serve. The cuts in mental health and elderly home support must be reversed immediately.

I live in Island Bay with my partner and two young children. I bring three years of experience as a District Health Board member, advocating for ‘care not cuts’, and 18 years as a policy advisor across a range of policy areas. I have had 13 years working for Labour in Parliament, including working directly for Helen Clark, Phil Goff and now David Shearer.

I’ll continue to work hard for better services, and tell the truth to the public about Board effectiveness and support needed from government.