No better cause


A newly-birthed mum is mounting a community appeal for unwanted items to go into Lakes District Hospital’s maternity unit. 

“If we can lift the spirits of mums and staff in the maternity unit, maybe more babies will be born there,” Melissa Bradley says. 

Both her own children have been born there – Sam, the younger, just seven weeks ago – and the staff are under-rated and under-praised, Bradley says. 

“They’re miracle workers with what they’ve got.” 

She sets her sights realistically on donated items: “I’m not going to turn anything away.” 

Bradley mentions a coffee machine, toaster, sandwich press, toys for the children’s play area – “anything the maternity ward could use, please consider donating it”. 

Readers shouldn’t drop donated items at the hospital – bring them to Mountain Scene in Athol Street and she’ll pick them up, Bradley says. 

The National Health Board’s panel of experts, which recently reported on Queenstown’s hospital and panned maternity services in the Wakatipu, is laying down the law to Southern District Health Board about improvements. 

“Most births go out of the region as [parents] fear complications will not be able to be dealt with locally. Local midwives want greater support,” the panel states. 

The panel is pushing SDHB to enhance maternity services with “better obstetric outpatient support locally”. 

If the maternity unit is eventually upgraded, it could provide “elective caesarean-section deliveries with visiting specialists”.