Claims made by critics of the library and child health centre hub proposed for the Rotorua Public Library site are misleading and incorrect, the Lakes District Health Board chief executive says.
Ron Dunham said the organisers of a petition aiming to have plans for the library and health hub stopped, claim ratepayer funding should not be going into health services.
He said ratepayers were not contributing to health services.
Mr Dunham said the District Health Board was paying for the space it would be occupying in the building, along with paying for the changes it wanted to be made in the part of the building health services would go, as well as contributing to changes for some of the shared areas.
Rotorua Lakes Council owns the building and as a tenant, the DHB will be paying a rental.
The council and DHB have agreed a rental, and Mr Dunham said when the amount of the regular rental was combined with the amount of capital the DHB was investing in the council-owned building, it aligned to commercial rentals in the city.
The plan is to locate health teams and services in a convenient, accessible place to make it easier for families to access services.
The designs will ensure library users will be able to access the library easily and with little or no impact from the health services.
He said the health sector had been working closely and collaboratively with a range of other Government agencies and providing space for intersectoral partners in the hub would allow these arrangements to continue in the new centre.
Mr Dunham said the way services were delivered to children was changing and more changes were needed.
He said it was crucial the health services journey children and families experienced was easy and efficient.
"To make sure it is easy and efficient for children and their families to access health services, the services need to be organised, managed, planned and funded in ways that are logical from the point of view of the child. This means we need to be looking at providing services around what the child needs in order to achieve the best results.
"Health is no longer a single distinctive system but part of a wider organised system around the child, and working together across the different sectors and providers is key to improving outcomes for children."
Mr Dunham said the health centre was part of the fundamental changes in how children were cared for, especially those who are currently failing to access the health care services they need.
The services included at the centre:
*Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (iCAMHS)
*The Child Development Team (assessment and therapy service for children with developmental issues)
*The Public Health Nursing and Screening Service
*Staff from the Community Oral Health Service and Gateway (service providing health and education assessments for all children entering care)
*The Rotorua Children's Team
*Space for staff from government agencies and services to be available on site