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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

September 10, 2014

Buller Older Persons' Health options discussed

The Buller Older Persons' Health conversation includes the question of aged residential care services, but also addresses the wider question of how the community and DHB might best plan ahead to meet the needs of the older population in Buller in the future.

Following an initial community meeting, a stakeholder group has been meeting fortnightly to discuss options for the future of Older Persons' Health services in Buller.  Group members include non-Governmental organisations, some older people, DHB and Allied Health staff (including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists), other providers of services for older people, and representatives from West Coast DHB's Consumer Council.

The conversations have highlighted challenges including the DHB's ageing buildings which currently house two aged residential care units Kynnersley and Dunsford; the need to manage services within the funding available to the DHB which does not include funding for building improvements; and making sure resources are targeted well to avoid duplication and waste.

West Coast and Canterbury DHB Planning and Funding project specialist Nancy Stewart says it's been recognised that health can do much but cannot do it alone.

"For instance, one of the things we're talking about is that there are wider issues to do with the quality and appropriateness of their own homes,  when we're looking at older people who can be supported at home," Nancy says.

In the Buller District, 16.7% of people are aged over 65 years and this number will double by 2021. Currently about 93% of the Buller older population lives in the community and about 7% live in aged residential care.

"We have the opportunity now to identify how the Buller community can connect providers, relationships and processes to best serve older people as this population grows. Older people have much to offer and can also help be a key part of the voluntary and paid workforce to help their peers," Nancy adds.

Ideas that have been generated at the Stakeholder Group meetings will be presented back to the public in a second series of community meetings at Club Buller in Westport on Thursday 18 September, from 3 - 4.30pm and 7 - 8.30pm.

The Club Buller venue will enable the community to sit around tables with Stakeholder Group members, provide their feedback on ideas.

Community meetings have been organised for Karamea, at the Karamea Bowling Blub on Wednesday 15 October, at 1 - 2.30pm or 7.30 - 9pm.  Opportunities for a meeting in Ngakawau the following day are also being explored.

Further Stakeholder Group meetings will follow and a final report back to the community after the outcome of the engagement process is presented to the West Coast District Health Board.

Visit our website www.westcoastdhb.health.nz/bulleroph for more information.

Questions we'd like the Buller community to ponder:

  • What do you think is working well about our older persons' health services at the moment?
  • Who should be providing services, and where?
  • What do we need to support our older population?
  • What role should the community play in supporting the older population?

How people can contribute to this conversation:

  • Attend the next public meeting on Thursday 18 September, 3 - 4.30pm or 7 - 8.30pm, at Club Buller, Queen St.
  • Attend the public meeting in Karamea on Wednesday 15 October, 1 - 2.30pm or 7.30 - 9pm.
  • Participate in the online survey
  • Fill in a postcard - download it here
  • Email your thoughts to
  • Phone your ideas to: 
    0800 789 001


For more information please contact:

Lee Harris,
Senior Communications Advisor
West Coast District Health Board
t: +64 27 836 1528

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