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AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, JUNE 21, 2013
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Discussion on Pharmac's funding criteria
New Zealanders are being
asked to share their views on
how Pharmac, the government s
medicine funding agency,
makes its decisions surround-
ing drug funding.
A public forum will be held in
Mt Albert next week as part of
a nationwide review of the
agency s decision-making cri-
Critical to the debate will be
whether certain patients with
life-threatening health issues
are granted access to expensive
but potentially life-restoring
Chief executive Steffan Crau-
saz says Pharmac has used the
criteria for nearly 20 years and
it is essential the services the
agency provides reflect the
preferences of the community to
the best extent possible.
Pharmac s work has changed
and expanded since the decision
criteria were first put in place.
There may be some
additional things that people
think are important for us to
take into account when we are
making decisions about phar-
One group urging Kiwis to
have a say is the Paroxysmal
support association which is
seeking funding for the life-
saving drug Soliris. The drug
treats the rare and fatal blood
The forum is at the Mt Albert
War Memorial Hall on June 25
from 10.45am to 1pm.
Submissions regarding Soli-
ris are open for public response
until July 31.
Greasy road causes mayhem
A damaged fuel tank is thought
to be responsible for a diesel
spill that caused chaos on one of
the city s busiest streets.
Emergency services were
called to the spill near the inter-
section of Ponsonby Rd and Wil-
liamson Ave about 8am on
Wednesday. The greasy road
surface caused one driver to
lose control of her car and veer
off into Western Park, Pon-
sonby fire station officer Shane
Nobody was hurt in the
One lane on Ponsonby Rd
heading towards Karangahape
Rd had to be closed for most of
the morning while the fire ser-
vice and Auckland Council
worked to clean the street.
It looks like a truck has had
a damaged fuel tank and the
driver has not known. It caused
a lot of diesel contamination in
the area, Mr Olsen says.
He says the vehicle may have
come from as far away as Pt
Chevalier and fuel was also
leaked on to Great North Rd
and Hopetoun St.
Bid to save iconic theatre
By JESS LEE
Theatre devotee: David Hartnell has been made ambassador of the St James Auckland Charitable Trust.
Photo: JESS LEE
A NEW face is lending a hand to
help one grand old Auckland dame
get back on her feet.
Grey Lynn resident and theatre
advocate David Hartnell has been
made an ambassador of the St
James Auckland Charitable Trust
which is fighting to save the neglec-
ted St James Theatre on Queen St.
It just breaks my heart when I
see this grand old lady looking as
she does, Mr Hartnell says.
To think this is somewhere
where the Queen and heads of state
have been and she stands there
looking like that.
Mr Hartnell is hoping to reignite
discussion about the building s
The theatre was built in 1928 but
was severely damaged by fire in
2007 and has since sat derelict, suf-
fering from a lack of investment and
In 1953 the building s facade and
vestibule underwent renovation
ahead of a visit by the Queen who
was attending a cinema premiere
As part of the renovations the
unique facade was hidden behind
sheets of metal in an attempt to
give the building a more modern
The estimated cost to restore,
earthquake-proof and return the
iconic theatre back to her glory days
is $50 million.
The charitable trust was formed
last year to help raise funds to save
the historic theatre which sits
opposite The Civic.
SPCA director Sir Bob Kerridge
took on the role of trust chairman
and actor Sam Neill stands along-
side Mr Hartnell as ambassador.
As discussion continues around
St James future, Wynyard Quar-
ter s Waterfront Theatre Project has
just received a $5m funding boost.
Mr Hartnell says there are no
I think we re all big enough in
the trust to realise that theatre is
theatre and wherever a theatre
opens it s a good thing.
Sir Bob says the trust is waiting
on a report on the theatre received
by Auckland Council before it can
move forward with any plans.
The council still has to decide
whether it will assume ownership of
the theatre for the city, he says.
The St James Auckland Trust is
standing by to help in its resto-
Open day highlights makeover plans for Myers Park
Park-goers: Tina Plunkett and her daughter Jasmine are looking forward to the
makeover of Myers Park.
Photo: JESS LEE
Child-friendly park: An artist's impression of the proposed new playground area.
By JESS LEE
A long-overdue makeover of one of
Auckland s inner city parks is
closer to getting the green light.
Myers Park is approaching its
100-year anniversary and in that
time only a few alterations have
The Waitemata Local Board
signed off on a development plan to
revitalise the historic park last
year which establishes a set of
guiding principles and design ideas
for developments in and around
The board will host an open day
at Myers Park Kindergarten on
Sunday allowing people to view
illustrations of the proposed
upgrades to its Queen St, Mayoral
Dr and Poynton Tce entrances,
playground and lighting.
Eight projects will be implemen-
ted over the next two years includ-
ing upgrades to park furniture and
signs as well as vegetation man-
agement and planting. Construc-
tion is due to start at the beginning
of next year.
Improvements can t be made
soon enough for some park-goers.
Karangahape Rd resident Tina
Plunkett and her 3-year-old daugh-
ter Jasmine use the park daily.
Everyone is really excited -- it s
well overdue, she says.
Ms Plunkett has lived on and off
in the area for the past 20 years
and says it s not just parents and
children who will benefit from the
The actual park is lovely but at
the moment if you re walking
through here at night if it was bet-
ter lit you would feel more secure.
The park is sometimes littered
with broken bottles and used con-
doms, she says.
Waitemata Local Board chair-
man Shale Chambers says particu-
lar attention has been paid to
increase visibility and ensure the
park is well-used as a safe inner-
city park regardless of the time of
We want to make sure it is a
safe, child-friendly place to visit
which appeals to users from across
Sunday's open day is on from
11am to 2pm at 381 Queen St.
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