News highlights for December 2018, as published in the Whanganui Chronicle.
December 8, 2018
A senior doctor who left Whanganui Hospital slammed the District Health Board for staffing levels she said had caused delays to treatment of life-threatening diagnoses.
Yoojin Na left Whanganui to move back to the US and spoke about what she saw while working at the hospital here.
She said it was common for junior doctors straight out of medical school to work the ED night shift without any on-site supervision.
There were usually two RMOs [resident medical officers] working overnight, she said, but if there was a c-section or a delivery needed one of them would be called away - leaving a junior doctor by themself to handle emergency patients.
Whanganui DHB's chief medical officer Dr Frank Rawlinson said there were mechanisms in place to call in senior doctors.
The head of the hospital's emergency department, Michael Caruso, said rosters had now changed to allow for there to be at least two junior doctors on at all times.
December 10, 2018
If Whanganui councillors thought a household survey would make their decision over introducing ratepayer-funded waste collection any easier, the results proved otherwise.
The results of the October's household waste survey showed the community is split between the status quo and a council-led rubbish and recycling collection.
Just under 44 per cent of respondents want a rate-funded kerbside recycling and rubbish collection while 40 per cent prefer the status-quo (private rubbish collection and recycling drop off).
The remaining 16.2 per cent want a recycling-only kerbside collection.
The survey asked 17,500 urban households to choose between the three and got a 30 per cent (5293) return rate.
The results will be a starting point for the council to discuss what, if any, service it will provide in the future. Councillors are now due to meet with waste experts to discuss options further.
December 15, 2018
A dispute over a burger between a Whanganui couple and a new burger joint came to a head.
Cameron Archibald, one of the owners of Burger Cartel in Whanganui East, claimed his business was under attack from an online campaign.
And it was all over the name of a burger.
Archibald accused St John's Hill residents Karyn and Dave Hoskin of "online bullying", and said he was on the brink of taking them to court for defamation.
The Hoskins took issue with Burger Cartel's theme - in particular, a burger on the kids' menu called "Trafficking", which the couple said is distasteful.
The story became one of the Chronicle's most read of the year.
See story here.
December 20, 2018
The Whanganui mum of six who was facing the possibility of moving her family into her SUV for a period of time has been offered a rental.
And Melissa Walsh quickly accepted the offer. Towards the end of January Walsh and her children will move into a four-bedroom house in Castlecliff.
The landlord wanted to renovate her previous home - a three-bedroom rental on Anzac Parade. She was given notice in November and had until the end of January to move out.
With seemingly few options around for a big family with pets, Walsh was stressed and faced either moving her kids into her SUV to live or living out of a motel room.
That was until Property Brokers' agent Andrew Rennie read about her situation in the Whanganui Chronicle last week.
Rennie got in touch and showed Walsh some rentals. Within a few days she had secured the Castlecliff home.
See story: Whanganui mum and six kids facing homelessness get rental in Castlecliff