Alana Ibbetson's waters broke while she was in the back of her car at the traffic lights in front of Tauranga Hospital.

By the time the 32-year-old from Te Puke got up to the birthing unit, she was between 6.5cm and 7cm dilated.

After the Bay of Plenty Times revealed yesterday that Papamoa residents were calling for a 24-hour medical facility to be built in the area and that they had the backing of local MP Todd Muller, Ms Ibbetson was one of many people to come forward to share their stories and support.

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She started going into labour at 6.30am on May 25 and only just made it to Tauranga Hospital in time after spending almost an hour getting there.

"By 11.04am she was here. She was out and in the world," Ms Ibbetson said of her daughter, Annaliese.

She and her partner left Te Puke between 9.30am and10am and ran into work traffic.

When asked what she was thinking as they quickly made their way to Tauranga Hospital, Ms Ibbetson said: "Holy f***, I hope we get there in time".

"We had only just bought the car as well, so I kind of didn't want to wreck the car."

She said even with the roadworks at the new Welcome Bay/Te Puke roundabout, if there had been a medical centre in Papamoa they could have gone on Tara Rd and been in there 10 minutes later.

"I mentioned it to my midwife within my first six weeks of having her - how much easier it would have been if there was a medical centre or something out there."

Annaliese Ibbetson was born on May 25 after a stressful, rushed car trip to Tauranga Hospital from Te Puke. Photo/Supplied.
Annaliese Ibbetson was born on May 25 after a stressful, rushed car trip to Tauranga Hospital from Te Puke. Photo/Supplied.

The women next to Ms Ibbetson at Tauranga Hospital had come from even further out, towards the Paengaroa area, to give birth.


"I mentioned to her how long it took us and she agreed with us.

"It's going to do a lot of people, not just Papamoa people, good. The way that Te Puke's growing . . . there's going to be even more of a need for it."

The issue was raised in a Tauranga City Council workshop yesterday about how the city should plan for long-term growth.

The council's manager of city infrastructure planning, Andrew Mead, referenced the article during discussion about growth in Papamoa East and the need to ensure investments in schools, medical facilities and the like kept pace with housing.

"These sorts of discussions are very much underway and we are involved in them," Mr Mead said.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Proudlock wrote on the Bay of Plenty Times Facebook page yesterday that a 24-hour medical facility in Papamoa was "absolutely a necessity".

"I had a child with high fever and not very well the other night and had to go all the way to 2nd Ave to wait two hours to be seen."

Aimee Millar said: "So needed. Would be used by rural people rather than having to decide if we go to Whakatane, Rotorua or Tauranga."

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board's general manager of planning and funding, Simon Everitt, has said the health board is actively engaged with local authorities and agencies regarding the future population growth across the Bay of Plenty and, specifically, growth to occur in the Te Tumu/Papamoa area.

He said that engagement included forward planning for the types and range of health services that might be needed in the region if the projected population growth occurred in the next 10 to 15 years.

"The DHB is aware that there are also a number of private parties who have expressed an interest in developing health services of this nature and the DHB will be looking to work collaboratively with them."