Today's Tremain ... another cartoon in a similar vein
I would argue it's because of tax cuts
It continues, today's ODT reports that they had "better meals under [the] Nazis" than the frozen ones ones being trucked from the North Island
And here on the front page of the ODT, almost as I'd predicted it, a revolt by the elderly receiving meals-on-wheels service that may sink the viability of the whole service, because of the poor quality of hospital's 'Auckland food' that was foisted on the local hospital board (trying to stave off being taken over by the govt, it didn't work), and cost all those local jobs, as part of National's on going privatisation program.
While they're complaining about the quality and the taste - the point that food that used to be made fresh locally, and is now frozen and trucked from the North Island then reheated for delivery can't be safely refrozen a second time for later use is a good one.
Dunedin's is a teaching hospital there are good reasons why some of those specialist sorts of units ought to be here - but we have to fundraise to pay for some of them, recently it was for a neurology unit (because everyone with a head injury really wants to be driven to Chch (and remember when Dunedin bought its own body scanner when the govt would only buy them for Akl/Wlg/Chc).
I'm sure it doesn't help that our only nominal National list MP used to run the local catholic private hospital
Having our hospital meals prepared by Compass in Auckland and trucked South was another doozy which cost many local jobs for a negligible saving.
My brother delivers meals on wheels to the elderly, he was embarassed by what the Auckland people thought Xmas dinner should look like.
I was in hospital for ~10 days last year (I caught legionaires – did you know they can’t test for it in NZ they have to send samples to Oz, takes about 7 days) – contrary to the usual narrative I thought the food was good … but it was basically my grandmother’s cooking, which I realise makes sense, for elderly patients, my parent’s generation, this is their comfort food … somehow I don’t think Aucklanders are necessarily going to make this sort of food, rather than a Scottish inspired menu we’ll get something different, probably more generic and bland.
But more Dunedin jobs going north means more votes for National ….
My wife applied for NZ citizenship last year had to wait months for a passing itinerant Dept of Immigration person to have space in her schedule rather than just going down to the office and taking a number.
How often is the distance adjustment readjusted to take account of fuel prices?
it’s not just that, we don’t put someone in Queenstown who’s having a heart attack in an ambulance and drive them to Dunedin – it’s the need to build and run more hospitals spread out over the area served that necessarily serve smaller populations with less efficiency available that increases the real costs.
The same thing applies to police stations, mail carriers, all that sort of infrastructure that’s more efficient in large population areas.
The continual ‘rationalising’ of local govt. has left Dunedin an urban city with mostly urban ratepayers largly a rural entity – Dunedin is 6 times the size of Aukland with 1/10 the ratepayers – our city council has to be good at lots of different, often competing things, they’re not, they’re broke – being bigger does not always mean more efficient
Which is absolutely as it should be, it always costs more to put infrastructure in low population areas but it is necessary, hence you get that per capita differential.
Only to some extent - take the local hospital board here in Dunedin, it essentially provides service to the bottom 2/5s of the South Island - but it's reimbursed at the same per-capita rate as elsewhere - as a result it's essentially bankrupt, being run by the central government rather than a board (like ECAN we wont get a vote on their board this year) it's infrastructure is falling apart, when it rains it rains in operating theatres.
We've spent the terms of the past National governments with school closure, cutbacks in govt departments including wholesale defections, cross-town mail now gets sorted in Chch, all mail now takes 2 days longer, want to go down to the Dept of Immigration, drive to Chch, we closed that, no more immigrants for you .... live in a really poor part of town, can't afford a car .... oops we closed your kid's school, you'll have to drive them down the hill to the flat ...
Of course it's not helped by Dunedin always voting Labour, National doesn't see any upside spending money here, and no downside of cutting everything to the bone. But they will give us just enough money for over priced rugby stadiums so that our council can go into the most attrocious levels of debt - our rates have been compounding above inflation for 15 years now, sometimes by 10% a year - meanwhile we continue to subsidise for-profit rugby from our rates to the tune of millions a year. I don't see a government bailout for rugby world cup debt yet