After an operation, the ideal situation is to recuperate in an environment of calm, temperate, restfulness. Trust me, I know, I've had both planned and unplanned hospital stays at the very hottest times of the year.

It's also ideal that those caring for you don't have rogue drops of sweat falling upon you, their grip loosening on things that may need gripping and becoming fatigued, in the way only a long, hot Hawke's Bay summer day can cause.

Tired people make mistakes and poor working conditions make for poor workplace attitudes.


So, where exactly has that $550-odd million each year in DHB funding gone, to benefit Napier and our cousins across the river and holders of the hospital, Hastings?

After all, this region brings in over $8 billion in GDP and punches above its weight in generating overseas income, so you'd think installing air conditioning in a piece of regional infrastructure would be simple. Especially when the DHB is our largest employer and where every single one of us is likely to pass through its doors. Either for a surgery, a test, follow-up, an emergency, our very arrival or simply, to visit and support someone else who is there.

Maybe we could look to our allocation from the Provincial Growth Fund (colloquially known as the NZ First money for votes programme) to help stop us from getting all hot and bothered. No sadly, a huge chunk of that has gone into investigating small water storage options in Central Hawke's Bay, among other things.

As Yogi Berra said once, it's déjà vu all over again. Which would be fine if it wasn't you and me paying for it. The largest insult to injury here would be a conclusion that multiple small water storage options would not be as cost effective as one large dam. Like I said, déjà vu.

Surely then the additional $12b government redistribution of wealth from one end of the country to the other, recently announced by our Prime Minister for infrastructure could help relieve our sick and those serving them from the sweltering heat?

No, not really, we didn't even receive the $7m it would take to retrospectively fitout our desperately under-resourced hospital with the cooling air of support and acknowledgement of what we, in the Bay, contribute to New Zealand Inc.

So, to hear that the opposition leader showed up in the leafy peacefulness of Havelock North claiming all it would take to unseat Stuart Nash is a "strong National candidate and a tough position on gangs", maybe think again Mr Bridges.

The police, the Mayor and Nash met with the public and reassured us that there is a plan and that they need those of us who condone and support criminal gang behaviour to think again. They're ready to talk and the community wants to talk too.


None of us want shooting in our streets. Some of us would rather start at the front end of the problems in families that turn those young people to gangs, rather than the criminal justice system being the first point of intervention and discipline.

While others of us, a great deal more of us I suspect, want our x-rays, our MRIs, our CT scans, our specialist appointments in the four months it was supposed to be delivered to us by, without expiring from heat in the waiting room.

Right now most of us are more at risk from that, than a stray pellet from some thugs who can't even put their pants on properly.

It seems all it would really take to cool down the hotbed of medical discontent is an electrician with an air con unit. After he's sorted the hospital, he could pop down to the Taradale Town Hall.

Deborah Burnside is the New Conservative candidate for Napier in 2020.