Insight for 18 March 2012 ( 26′ 10″ )
Lois Williams investigates efforts to preserve the water and wildlife in Northland's Wairua River.
Groups worried about the state of New Zealand's rivers are planning to set up a national network of Environmental River Patrols at a meeting in Wellington next weekend.
Insight investigates one of the drivers behind the move, the efforts to improve the health of a major Northland river, the Wairua.
(The meeting to set up the Environment River Patrol Aotearoa is being held in the Wellington Town Hall on Saturday 24th starting at 11a.m)
Coming Up on Insight
8:12 am Sunday 5 April: Insight: Demands for Elective Surgery
Christchurch surgeon, Philip Bagshaw, in operating room at the city's charity hospital Photo: RNZ / Karen Brown
More than 165 thousand New Zealanders had non-urgent or elective surgery last year -- 60 per cent more than in 2003.
They were the ones who got through the complex and poorly understood system for choosing which patients are most in need of non-acute hip or knee replacement surgery, or treatment for hernias, varicose veins or cataracts.
Many others failed to make it onto public hospital waiting lists for surgery but were returned to the care of their family doctor to wait and hope for a better outcome in six months' time, or later.
No one knows how big this group representing so-called unmet need is, but surgeons say it's rising as the population grows and ages.
Radio New Zealand's Health Correspondent, Karen Brown, has been exploring what, if any, changes are needed.