The first sod may be about to be turned for the new Hospice Tairawhiti administration and day services building but there is still a lot of money to be raised. After much investigation, it was decided the new building would be built on Gisborne Hospital grounds, with the land leased from Tairawhiti District Health. The community has been hugely supportive in helping Hospice Tairawhiti raise part of the estimated $3 million for its new building but general manager Barbara Grout says with the site now formalised there will be a big push to raise the rest.
“The new building will give our patients and whanau greater choice in how they receive services,” says Mrs Grout. “We will always continue to visit and support people in their own homes but in future they will also be able to come to us if they feel able or would prefer to. We will also have greater flexibility to offer additional services, including day programmes and complementary therapies.” The proposed site for the new administrative and day services centre has plenty of space to future-proof the service and while there are no plans to include in-patient beds at this stage there will be an area left for expansion if it is needed.
Newly-retired Electrinet founder Barry Atkinson – chair of the Hospice Tairawhiti board – will be overseeing the project, working on design and bringing together the many sub-contractors needed for the job. The tender process is set to begin soon and applications for funding will be made. “I am looking forward to being able to put my skills to good use for an organisation I am very passionate about,” he said. “This will be a great asset for Hospice and the wider Gisborne community.” The new building will be adjacent to the main car park at Hauora Tairawhiti. “There is a lot of behind the scenes work to prepare for the build and a lot of money to raise, so it is likely to be some time before the foundation work starts. We will all be working hard to raise the necessary $3 million to complete the facility and are very grateful for any donations from the community.”
Hauora Tairawhiti chair David Scott said he was pleased to see the project move to the next level. “This is the end of a long journey for the District Health Board and Hospice Tairawhiti, but it is also just the beginning,” he said. “This is wonderful – both parties will gain huge benefits, not the least of which are the Hospice patients. When you have organisations like this working together the community is the winner.”