For the past six months, residents of the lower South Island have been fighting to save their local neurosurgery service. The campaign has seen public meetings and protests, and has attracted mass support. Ten thousand people attended a protest march in Dunedin on the issue in August, while 55,000 people signed a petition to Parliament asking for local neurosurgery services to be retained. And today, they won, with the Director-General of Health announcing that the service will be retained in Dunedin.
The lesson in this is that protest works. If you get enough people to scream loudly enough, the government has to listen, if only out of fear for their electoral future. Remember that next time they do something you don't like, and organise!