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By CATE BROUGHTON
A RESTRUCTURE of the
Department of Conservation
(DOC), announced yesterday, will
mean the loss of five permanent
staff from its Rangiora office.
The office has 24 staff, and this
will fall to 19 from September.
The Hanmer office will not be
affected by the changes and will
retain two permanent positions.
A total of 72 jobs within the
department are being axed
Deputy director-general Doris
Johnston said the simpler
regional structure and strength-
ened field teams would enable
DOC to continue with its own
work and also develop new conser-
Green Party MP Eugenie Sage
said the loss to North Canterbury,
as a result of the departmental
shake up, was significant.
What that means for North
Canterbury is staff struggling to
cover the range of work across the
region and it just means every-
thing being done at a much more
So it is bad for conservation,
it s bad for community engage-
ment because there are fewer peo-
ple to do it.
Ms Sage said the urbanisation
of the department meant that
its capacity in the regions was
Forest and Bird Canterbury-
West Coast field officer Jen Miller
said it was heartening that last-
minute additional funding from
the minister meant fewer roles
were cut in the final restructure.
The initial proposal would have
seen a reduction of seven roles in
the Rangiora office.
But she said the new two-part
structure was extraordinarily
Meal plan panned
By CATE BROUGHTON
. . . stories about closures of
kitchens, jobs lost -- they are all just
rubbish at the moment.''
-- Mark Reynolds, Health Benefits
TV DINNERS?: Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove says a plan to centralise hospital catering would see Rangiora Hospital
kitchen close. He is pictured with Rangiora Hospital kitchen staffer Biddy Bowring.
PATIENTS AT Rangiora
Hospital will be badly
served by a government
proposal to centralise hospital
catering, Labour MP Clayton
A leaked report by Crown-
owned company Health Benefits
Limited (HBL) outlines the plan
to reduce costs associated with
District Health Board food
services with a streamlined
national outsourced approach .
The report claims this could
achieve a net saving of $100 mil-
lion to $175m over 15 years.
Mr Cosgrove said it was self-
evident food prepared on site
would be of higher quality.
Well, I m no Gordon Ramsay,
but I think your average mum
feeding their kids would argue
that food prepared that night for
the kids fresh, and supplied
locally . . . is probably better than
some TV dinner that you bung in
Mr Cosgrove visited Rangiora
Hospital recently with Labour
health spokeswoman Annette
King and raised the issue with
Canterbury District Health Board
chief executive David Meates.
Ms King said the proposal
would see the loss of about 1000
kitchen staff nationwide, inclu-
ding those at Rangiora Hospital,
and would also affect Meals on
HBL communications and
engagement manager Mark Rey-
nolds said the company had a
number of ideas for cost savings
and no decision had been made.
There would be discussions
about strategies with individual
DHBs over the next six months,
We need to come and talk to
local DHBs about any local
impact, so stories about closures
of kitchens, jobs lost -- they are all
just rubbish at the moment.
However, Ms King said
HBL had made it clear it wanted
one nationwide contract for 15
years and had already chosen
its preferred provider, Compass.
A Canterbury District Health
Board (CDHB) spokeswoman said
three kitchen staff prepared
48 meals for inpatients, and
between 37 and 49 meals for
Meals on Wheels customers each
day from Rangiora Hospital s
The CDHB has a contract with
Medirest to provide catering for
its Christchurch hospitals, but
meals in most rural Canterbury
hospitals are prepared on site.
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