Insight

elections orange guySubmissions are due in the coming week  to a Select Committee inquiry into last November’s elections, including the level of non- voting.

Nearly a third of all those eligible to vote didn’t.

Philippa Tolley  looks at why people are not taking part in elections and at what can be done to turn the trend around

Coming Up on Insight

8:12 am Sunday 5 April: Insight: Demands for Elective Surgery

Mr Bagshaw in operating theatres at the hospital

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.