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Have you recently retired? Are you well connected and respected in your local area? If so, your Union and HealthCarePlus needs you! 

As a HealthCarePlus Advocate (a newly created, paid casual role); you will help us by visiting your local schools and workplaces and spreading the word to your former colleagues as to why you are a Member of HealthCarePlus and why 'It's Good to Belong'. Our aim is that all Union members are informed of the benefits of belonging to HealthCarePlus. And who better to enlighten them than someone who has first-hand knowledge!

We are currently looking for candidates in Wellington and Auckland. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, to find out more/arrange for a chat please email

One of the biggest challenges of winter is staying healthy but with a lot of wellness and a bit of luck, it is possible to avoid the common cold or flu.

Some trusted tips to stay healthy through the winter months: 

  • Garlic: A lifesaver and so underrated. It can even be chopped up raw and swallowed like a tablet!
  • Vitamin C: Stocking up on Vitamin C is a must. Did you know that cauliflower and kiwifruit are even higher in Vitamin C than oranges?
  • Good fats: Keep up the good healthy fats to ensure you're absorbing fat-soluble Vitamin E and Vitamin D. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant making it a strong fighter against infections. Foods high in Vitamin E include nuts (especially almonds), kumara, spinach and avocado.
  • Vitamin Sun: Vitamin D is just as necessary in winter as in summer so it's important to make sure you're at least getting some sun each day, where possible. Vitamin D is a very important part of keeping the immune system boosted. Fatty fish, egg yolk and cod liver oil are good food sources of vitamin D.
  • Cosy up: Eat warming comfort foods such as slow cooked stews, porridge, casseroles and soups for optimal health in winter.

Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with influenza each year. Many people won’t feel sick at all but can still pass it on to others. Influenza can be anywhere. Contact with the influenza virus is almost unavoidable, and while contact does not necessarily mean infection, it does mean that you are never far from the possibility of catching influenza. 

You may be entitled to a free influenza vaccination click here to find out If not, the good news is you may be able to claim 50% reimbursement under your Primary Care, Primary Care Extra or #care4U plan.

A mouth-watering slow cooker pumpkin soup with a special Thai style twist to help keep you warm and cosy over the winter months.


800g butternut pumpkin, seeded, peeled, coarsely chopped
800g pumpkin, seeded, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste
4 cups (1L) chicken stock
400ml can coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/3 cup (80ml) coconut cream


Step 1
Place the combined pumpkin, carrot, onion, curry paste, stock and coconut milk in a slow cooker. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high (or 6 hours on low) or until the pumpkin is tender and mixture thickens slightly. Set aside to cool slightly.

Step 2
Use a stick blender to carefully blend pumpkin mixture until smooth. Stir in sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Season.

Step 3
Ladle the soup evenly among serving bowls. Drizzle with coconut cream. Season and serve!

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The information and opinions contained in this newsletter are of a general nature and may not be relevant to your situation.