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A father has driven 50km in freezing temperatures at speeds above the legal limit as no pain relief was available at the downgraded Lumsden Maternity Centre, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

Emails released under the Official Information Act show the mother elected to go to Winton as there was no Entonox available in Lumsden.

The email goes on to show the father had to travel in minus 2⁰C weather and heavy frosts to get his wife in labour access to pain relief.

“This should never have happened,” Mr Walker says.

“It is incredibly sad that this Government is forcing rural mothers, fathers and babies to be put at risk, and in this case, break the law to get themselves in a position where they feel safe and comfortable giving birth.”

“How many more lives need put at risk by the Minister not holding his own department to account over the failings in the downgrade of the Lumsden Maternity Centre.”

“For a so-called wellbeing Government, there is not much wellbeing being considered in rural Southland.”

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