Insight

 

tonga sailorsKing Tupou VI was installed as Tonga’s new Monarch at the end of March,  but his powers are very different to those held by his Father.

The King's brother, George Tupou V relinquished many of his powers as Tonga moved toward greater democracy.

Radio New Zealand's Pacific Correspondent, Karen Mangnall, was in Nukualofa for the late King's funeral and reports on what challenges might lie ahead for the new King.

Coming Up on Insight

8:12 am Sunday 29 March: Insight: China in the Pacific

NUS Ocean Campus construction site SamoaNational University of Samoa Maritime Training Centre, one of the three projects funded under the China Grant Aid Project (Photo supplied)

 Traditional external powers in the Pacific Islands are focusing more on China's increased engagement in the region.

Some have been surprised by China's burgeoning direct investment in the Pacific, its rapid surge as an aid donor and the growing dominance of Chinese in retail sectors across the islands.

Radio NZ International's Johnny Blades looks at what's driving China's foray into the Pacific and what it means for the people of the region, New Zealand, Australia and others with long term connections in this part of the world.

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.