$10 million hospital design on track for approval

By Lindy Laird

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An impression of Te Hauora O Pukepuke Rau's front entrance.
An impression of Te Hauora O Pukepuke Rau's front entrance.

The design for a rebuild of Bay of Islands Hospital should get the thumbs-up in the next month with construction on the $10 million project likely to begin next year.

Northland District Health Board's (NDHB) preferred concept for facilities at the Kawakawa hospital site is a ground-floor accident and medical centre, a 19-bed ward on the floor above, and ground-floor access to an adjacent Ngati Hine whanau wellness centre, Te Hauora o Pukepuke Rau.

The health board is footing the full cost of the expected $9.9m clinical centre and ward, with Ngati Hine Health Trust having a separate budget for its adjacent facility.

Compliance requirements, geotechnical work and a change in the sequence for demolishing the old buildings have caused a delay in the construction schedule.

NDHB project spokesman Sam Bartrum said the need to keep the existing hospital and services functioning during the work to date and the proposed build has required additional planning.

Ngati Hine board members recently presented the NDHB with a scale model of Te Hauora O Pukepuke Rau, and the board is expected to approve the design of its own part of the project within a month.

The partnership and adjoining facilities will offer Ngati Hine people a one-stop shop to visit GPs, specialist outpatient or community services, health promotion programmes and other support, trust chairwoman Gwen Tepania said.

"There will also be telemedicine options, a dispensary, injury rehabilitation gym, podiatry, physiotherapists, dental surgeries and traditional Maori wellness practices such as mirimiri all available from the same site."

NDHB chief executive Nick Chamberlain has reiterated the scheme's benefits and vision.

"We remain committed to working in partnership with Ngati Hine Health Trust on redeveloping the site into a modern whanau and community health and wellness campus for the people of the Mid North and we expect to be making application to the Far North District Council for resource consent mid-September," Dr Chamberlain said.

- Northern Advocate

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