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And in Other News…

PS News on leave till January

This is the final PS News offering for 2019 with the publication  downing tools for four weeks to catch its collective breath, archive its files and prepare to embark on another  year of service to the Public Service in 2020.

PS News will return to PS desks, laptops, mobiles, iPads and intranets on 23 January when we expect to be relaxed, rejuvenated and replenished for another year of PS Newsworthiness.

In the meantime from Frank, Kelly, Lisa, Graham, Jan, Brad, Ted, Rama, Ian, Vic, Lyn, Robert, Paul, John, Ysabel, Natasha, Ed, Terri and Sarah – who ensure PS News is published every week (except the next four!) – come the wishes that every reader finds their seasonal break peaceful and stress-free in readiness for a prosperous and reward-filled New Year in 2020.


Kauri disease advice for visitors

The Department of Conservation and iwi track ambassadors will be out and about in the Coromandel and Kaimai Ranges this summer, spreading the word on how to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease.

Kauri Protection Ranger at DOC, Chris Twemlow said almost a million people travelled to the Coromandel Peninsula and Northern Bay of Plenty during summer.

“When people enter the kauri forests, we ask them to do so with regard for the health of the bush and the ancient trees that live there – we can all do this by following the hygiene practices in place and staying on the open tracks,” Mr Twemlow said.

“Kauri dieback is a disease caused by a microscopic fungus-like organism that lives in the soil and infects kauri roots and there is no cure,” he said.


Screening program milestone

Thousands of newborn babies have avoided a potential life of ill-health and suffering through a program that is celebrating its 50th anniversary.


Deputy Director-General Population Health and Prevention at the Ministry of Health, Deborah Woodley said newborn screening, popularly known as the Heel Prick Test or the Guthrie Test, was introduced in 1969.

“This screening means that metabolic conditions can be diagnosed before a baby becomes unwell and treatment can start straight away before life-threatening illness or developmental delays occur,” Ms Woodley said.

“Each year over 99 per cent of all babies born in New Zealand are screened – that’s about 64,000 babies, of which, on average approximately 50 are identified as needing treatment.”


Electorates deadline looms

The deadline is approaching to make an objection to the proposed electorates for the next two General Elections.

The Representation Commission has released proposed boundary changes to 35 electorates and details of a new electorate in Auckland for public comment.

Comments close tomorrow (20 December).


Courthouse ‘model for future’

The Government has allocated $100 million for a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand.

The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and other court users.

It will draw on Te Ao Māori values, and directly address victims’ safety needs in the court building.

The new facility is expected to be ready by mid-2025.