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Community and Public Health on the West Coast (Greymouth)

Nearly 33,000 people live in the Buller, Grey and Westland Districts – a 400 km long region between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. This makes the West Coast/ Te Tai Poutini one of the most sparsely populated regions in New Zealand. The remote nature of many small and isolated communities poses specific health challenges around sewage treatment and disposal, and potable water.

The natural beauty of the area attracts more than 1 million visitors a year, largely during the spring and summer months. This level of tourist activity carries some environmental risks for recreational water contamination and infectious diseases, especially in popular destinations such as Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and Punakaiki. The predominantly young and transient population of tourists and those employed in the tourism industry creates concerns around safe sexual behaviours and responsible alcohol use.

Enabling wellbeing and equity of outcomes for everyone on the West Coast

The health promotion team supports improving and maintaining the health and wellbeing (hauora) of West Coasters by connecting communities and supporting the creation of healthy and sustainable environments (inlcuding early childhood education and schools). Current initiatives focus on:

  • mental wellbeing;
  • Māori health;
  • healthy eating;
  • physical activity;
  • healthy ageing and injury prevention;
  • supporting smoke-free environments; and
  • working alongside key stakeholders to reduce alcohol related harm.

Community and Public Health is a partner in Active West Coast – working with District Councils to improve and promote hauora on the West Coast. The Westland Recreation is open and well used by the community, and major developments are occurring in Buller and Westland as part of their new physical activity strategy. Staff are also contributing to the development of a region-wide walking and cycling strategy.

The Greymouth office has a Community Health Information Centre, providing a range of health education resources from the Ministry of Health and other providers.

Have your say on the Draft 2021-2031 West Coast Regional Land Transport Plan

The West Coast Regional Council is currently seeking feedback on the Draft 2021-2031 West Coast Regional Land Transport Plan.

The draft Plan sets the strategic direction for land transport in the region and lists the activities recommended by the West Coast Regional Transport Committee for funding from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) administered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. This includes activities proposed by Waka Kotahi and those proposed by local authorities.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 30th April 2021.

Consultation opens on the Buller District 2021-2031 Long Term Plan

The draft Long Term Plan sets out the key issues facing the Buller District, presents options to address these, including detailed budgets and proposed rates increases. It presents three key issues which council is especially keen to receive community feedback on: climate change, information technology and management, and management of the Westport Port and harbour.

Mayor Jamie Cleine said significant investment is required across the district to build resilience and prepare for the future.

“We require major investment in nearly every aspect of our infrastructure and services. It’s important our community considers the options that are presented and have a say to help shape our district.”

The consultation closes on Sunday 16th May 2021.

Have your say on the Grey District 2021-2031 Long Term Plan

The Council has been developing their 2021-2031 Long Term Plan for the Grey District, which sets out what Council intends to spend money on and when over the next ten years. The community has told us that they want a Thriving, Connected and Resilient Grey District and the plan we are proposing sets us up for that.

Previously Council has traded infrastructure renewals for low rate rises and this has created a significant backlog of overdue replacements, for example, stormwater pipes and bridge repairs, that can no longer be ignored. Along with the impacts of climate change on our infrastructure.

Grey District Councillors said, “We cannot continue this trade off and must face up to the reality that we need to raise our rates higher than has been the norm to start to pay for the under investment in our assets”.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Monday 17th May 2021.


Healthinfo West Coast.

Page last updated: 15/04/2021

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