Day 13 saw the Yes We Care roadshow continuing our journey up the east coast, through one of the last remaining meat works towns of Wairua and then on to our most easterly city, Gisborne. In Wairua, the local meat workers union came out in force to support the roadshow, with quite possibly the quickest set up and pack down we’ve managed so far. A massive thanks to them for coming along. The next stretch of road between Wairua and Gisborne was some of the windiest we’ve covered so far. The smell of brakes announced our arrival in Gisborne, where for only the third time, we managed to set up our full contingent of cut-outs.
We had some really great conversations with people today about how underfunding is impacting on local communities. In Wairoa, we spoke to Bruce, who had been waiting 3 years for a hernia operation, but kept getting bounced between services. He had seen us setting up as he walked past and stopped for a chat. His is an all too common story unfortunately, with his condition impacting on his quality of life, leaving him in constant pain, and unable to walk around town without regular breaks.
In Gisborne we heard from many individuals and groups struggling to provide quality care to their local communities, which are being ravaged by methamphetamine use and mental health issues. They have identified what the problems are and are working on solutions, but many are doing this voluntarily or without adequate funding. A common theme people talked about was the flawed funding model where health care was funded according to population, rather than population need.
Tomorrow we’re taking a much needed break, before continuing on to Whakatane and Taupo on Sunday. We’ll make sure Steave is well rested and in tip top shape for the rest of the Yes We Care roadshow, after local organisers noticed he was looking a tad green from all the St Paddies day festivities. Keep sharing your stories with us at YesWeCare.nz/share-your-story