Campaign against meters

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Councillor Dave Macpherson will be campaigning to retain his seat on the West ward in the upcoming local body election in addition to his bid for one of the seven Waikato District Health Board seats.

He said he would be campaigning hard against water meters, going as far as having "no water meters" beside his name on ballot papers.

"The reason we are saying no water meters is because that is the next step in a water CCO, in fact the papers that have been presented to council list the introduction of the water meters as a possibility right up front."

He will be pushing for a shared services model.

With his role at Kiwi Regional Air wrapping up a couple of weeks ago, Mr Macpherson said he now had the time to devote to the two roles.

Mr Macpherson said he had held reservations to declare for council before now because of his family situation - Macpherson's son, Nicky Stevens, died in 2015 while in the care of the Waikato DHB's Henry Bennett Centre.

This was also a key reason, Mr Macpherson said, for his decision to run for one of the DHB.

He said his "experience dealing with the DHB bureaucracy" over his son's death gave him "a good insight into the struggle many folks face in their dealings with the DHB".

"We can't bring our son back, but we still need answers, and we especially want to make sure no other families go through what we've had to endure.

"The mental health system is in a shocking state, and many parents and grandparents are worried about the health of their kids and grandkids, and whether care will be there when they need it."

Mr Macpherson said after his son's death, his family discovered that there was no DHB policy in place to support the families of bereaved patients, and no clear in-house complaints procedures.

"Over the last 17 months, we've had a large number of other families approach us with their own, similar, stories.

"Ninety-nine point nine per cent of the staff that work at the DHB are good, hard-working people who try to do their best for their patients, but they are frequently hamstrung in their efforts by poor management systems, sparse resources and weak leadership," he said.

Mr Macpherson has been on Hamilton City Council for 18 years and disagreed that he had done his dash.

"I'm not the oldest person on council and I still have a lot more energy than some of the young ones," he said.

He said new blood on the council was always a good thing, and he had even mentored a number of hopefuls for the upcoming election.

- Hamilton News

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