5 Nov 2008

Labour focuses on country schools, medical services

8:33 pm on 5 November 2008

The Labour Party would try to ensure small rural schools had a minimum of two teachers, and establish one-stop primary health care centres in country communities.

Releasing the party's rural policy on Tuesday 4 November, rural affairs spokesperson Damien O'Connor says there are 98 rural schools with fewer than two full-time teaching staff, and it would be sensible to boost those numbers.

Mr O'Connor says the idea for a one-stop primary health care centre, where patients could see their GP, have an X-ray or blood test and get their prescriptions filled, is not an entirely new concept.

But he says Labour would like to see centres such as that in Horowhenua expanded.

It would also look at targeted assistance for smaller and poorer communities, including those in rural areas, to meet the costs of providing quality water supplies.

And Mr O'Connor says Labour would consider more regulatory and enforcement options for the Clean Streams dairy accord if it's not meeting its goals.