Friday 25 November 2005
MP given clean bill of health
Article by Ainsley Thomson; Picture by Mark Mitchell
Twelve days ago John Carter underwent a gruelling six-hour operation to remove a cancerous growth and a 30cm section of his bowel. A week later the National MP for Northland was discharged from Wellington's Wakefield Hospital and sent home with a packet of Panadol for pain relief and the knowledge that he is free of cancer.
Lounging in his La-Z-Boy chair yesterday at his Wellington home - TV remote, telephone and laptop close at hand - the 55-year-old says he is feeling so good he has stopped taking the painkillers. Because the bowel cancer was caught in the early stages Mr Carter will not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
"There's a lesson in this. Everyone should get themselves checked out as soon as there's any change in their body functions." Mr Carter said there are a variety of reasons why people delayed getting treatment for medical problems, but he hoped his experience would encourage them to seek help early. "My advice is get on to it right now and go and ask someone who knows. It's no big deal. If it's nothing you haven't lost anything, and if there is something you have everything to gain because the sooner you get on to it the sooner it is mended."
Mr Carter, who is serving his seventh term as an MP, will stay home for the next six weeks to give his body time to fully recover from the surgery. He has opted to stay in Wellington because he says if he went home to Northland he would be tempted to do physical work. But he will be doing constituency work through email and phone calls.
Mr Carter says he has received "bucket-loads" of cards, flowers and messages from well-wishers, including some from his political opponents. "This is one of the things that reminds you that although you have your political views and political oppositions, at the end of the day when it comes down to individuals we are all humans. You put your politics aside and that is what has happened to me."
Thursday 29 September 2005
New National MPs spent yesterday getting training and tips from old hands Nick Smith and John Carter. Twenty-four new National MPs from throughout the country gathered at Dr Smith's Nelson electorate office to learn about how to run constituency clinics in their electorates.
Dr Smith said National had never had such a big intake of new MPs to justify holding such a training session in the past. But with 24 of National's 49 MPs new to the job, the party felt getting them all together in a central location to give them some pointers was a good idea.
"I remember the most terrorising part when I became an MP was my first constituency clinic," Dr Smith said. "Hopefully, by providing some training, the new MPs will hit the ground running."
Dr Smith said he was asked to hold the session because before this month's election, he held one of only two National provincial seats. The party had now drastically increased its number of provincial seats. Dr Smith said the MPs would learn how to deal with constituents' problems with Government agencies, which often came up at clinics, as well as learning about managing electorate offices, employing electorate office staff, and relationships with schools, local government and district health boards.
Northcote's new MP, Jonathan Coleman, and National's new list MP for Mt Roskill, Jackie Blue, said Dr Smith was known to run a good electorate office and they were keen to get advice from him. "I'm really interested in picking Nick's brains on how I turn a seat that used to be Labour into a safe National seat," Dr Coleman said.
National Party president Judy Kirk and chief whip Simon Power also attended the session.
Thursday 18 March 2004
Lining up to fight methamphetamine - those involved in organising, or supporting, Saturday week’s ‘Breaking the Ice’ concert in Kaitaia include Shirley Neho (Te Oranga, left), Owen Lewis (manager, Te Oranga), Constable Rowena Jones, Morgana Thomas (manager, Tai FM), Northland MP John Carter and Kevin Robinson (executive officer, Te Runanga o Te Rarawa)
The manufacturers of methamphetamine have been getting all the headlines lately, but Kaitaia’s Far North Community Centre and A and P showgrounds will host a free 'Breaking the Ice' concert on Saturday week (March 27) aimed at turning the tide.
Auckland hip hop crew Open Souls will be there, along with Dubstar,
DJ Oblex-B, Josiah, Kaitaia College band Outatune, local legends Supernova,
dancers, kapa haka parties and more, while information will be freely
available from local police, the Northland Armed Offenders’ Squad,
the Fire Service and St John ambulance.
"It's all about raising awareness of methamphetamine in our community," said Boycie Tawhara, spokesman for organising agency Te Oranga (in association with Tai FM and Te Runanga o Te Rarawa.
Displays will include the deconstruction of a methamphetamine laboratory, while anyone who wants to know anything about the drug and the impact it can have will find the information they need, including opportunities to talk with experts one-on-one.
The concert, which will be drug- and alcohol-free, starts at 12 noon and winds up at 6 p.m.