Air New Zealand, where is your compassion?
I am writing this on Friday morning from the airport at Onerahi about to board the 6.40am flight to Auckland (now delayed by fog).
While approaching the kiosk, I enjoyed the delightful observation of a hand-holding couple in their early 30s saying goodbye to each other. Can I say they appeared to be manual workers of very humble means.
They kissed, said goodbye and she pressed her phone to the kiosk. One minute later there were floods of tears. She had been three minutes late and not checked in and would not make the flight.
Amidst the anguish, she was explaining she had a very important family court meeting in Napier at 10am and to not make the flight would be devastating.
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She was told sorry, but the next flight was the best that could be done.
Come with me, I said to the couple and we headed back to reception and the Air NZ manager who I know and is a good person. I explained the urgency of the situation and asked if she could use her discretion to override the check-in. No, this is now the Air NZ policy. Fine, can we transfer my ticket into her name? No. Can I buy a new ticket for her? No. I turned to the couple and introduced myself and apologised for the situation they found themselves in. They thanked me and huddled off to regroup.
Come on Air NZ!
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I have no issue with the Air NZ manager but I do have issue with how the policy was applied. The local MP was asking for a small dispensation for a constituent in great need and you let three minutes of policy win the day. I don't know Anna and hope she doesn't mind me telling her story but surely common sense and compassion for a small ask with small risk must win sometimes. Just my view.
Radiotherapy machine for Northland
Good news; Northland is to get a radiotherapy machine (LINAC).
This has been a high priority and a campaign issue for me and something I have advocated for. You may be interested in the intense lobbying I have been involved with over the past few years (see below). This machine will make a big difference to the more than 30 Northland people per day who are treated in Auckland.
Called by an oncologist re a Northland radiotherapy machine.
Sept 2017: Make a Northland radiotherapy machine a campaign promise.
Oct 2017: Discussions with radiation oncology specialists.
Nov 2017: Email to CEO at the DHB indicating I will champion a LINAC.
Dec 2017: Write MP column advocating support.
Dec 2017: Letterbox drop of flyers advocating for a LINAC.
June 2018: Write MP column showing 30 Northland people er day treated in Auckland.
Oct 2018: Write MP column showing smaller cities have one or two machines.
Oct 2018: Solicit support from Northland Cancer Society.
Nov 2018: Check in with DHB on progress.
Dec 2018: Meet with Dr Sasso, head of radiotherapy, Auckland DHB.
Nov/Dec 17: Written questions to the Minister of Health.
Jan/Feb 18: Written questions to the Minister of Health.
May 2018: Written questions to the Ministry of Health.
Nov/Dec 18: Written questions to the Minister of Health.
2018: Email petition supporting a radiotherapy machine.
May 2019: Called by private radiotherapy in Auckland expressing interest.
2019: Billboards giving DHB support for a radiotherapy machine.
2019: Advertisements giving DHB support for a radiotherapy machine.
2019: Email petition supporting a radiotherapy machine.