Council calls for feedback on new health strategy

18 Mar 2024, 4:55 PM

The Kāpiti Coast District Council is seeking feedback on its new health strategy, with consultation open until 20 April.

The proposed health strategy will strengthen Council’s existing public health responsibilities as well as determine areas of focus such as supporting the coordination and connectedness of the local health ecosystem.

Kāpiti Coast District Councillor Martin Halliday says Council has heard the concerns about equitable health outcomes and access to health services within our district, which is why they’re looking at a range of options to improve health and wellbeing in our communities. 

“While Council isn’t a provider of health services, as local government we play a vital role in supporting population health through our regulatory functions such as food safety, water services, and waste management. We also provide facilities, such as trails, pools, parks, and playgrounds that promote health activity opportunities,” Cr Halliday says.

“Our community initially spoke to us through a petition for a Kāpiti hospital that had significant local support. We have heard our community and acknowledge their concerns about access to primary care, emergency treatment and hospital services. That’s why we’re looking at all the tools and levers we have at our disposal so we can build networks between providers, community, and the health system and help improve access to these vital services.

“This won’t be an easy fix, but having a health strategy that considers the needs of our community and informs our future decisions is an important first step.

“Our health strategy will be a local foundation document that enables us to better influence any future discussions led by Health New Zealand |Te Whatu Ora around the establishment of local health plans and arrangements.

“We’re partnering with the Kāpiti Health Advisory Group, and together we’ve identified five areas of focus we believe will help improve public health and wellbeing in our district. Now we’d like the wider public to provide feedback on our proposed focus and approach,” Cr Halliday says.

The strategy’s proposed areas of focus are: 

  • ensuring existing Council activity improves its focus on public health and prevention services
  • building our understanding of community health needs
  • supporting more local primary and community health services
  • supporting better local after-hours, urgent, and emergency services
  • advocating for better access to hospital and other secondary health services.

Cr Halliday says it is essential that community voice helps shape the health strategy to make sure it reflects the aspirations and key issues faced by our community and identifies which actions or areas of focus are the highest priority.

“We’ve produced a direction of travel document for our health strategy. We encourage people to have a read or come and talk to us at our Vision Kāpiti engagement hub in Ōtaki and then have their say at by 20 April 2024.

Our Vision Kāpiti Engagement Hub will be in Ōtaki Library from Tuesday 19 March to Saturday 6 April, and open at the following times:

  • Tuesdays: 3–5pm
  • Wednesdays 11.30am–1.30pm
  • Thursdays: 3–5pm
  • Fridays: 10am–12 noon (closed Good Friday)
  • Saturday 6 April 10am–12 noon.

“Once we’ve considered all the feedback, we’ll prepare a revised health strategy and implementation plan for endorsement by Council and the Kāpiti Health Advisory Group later this year.”