The future care of clients of Laura Fergusson Rehabilitation in Whanganui is up in the air as the organisation "transitions" its services to other providers.

Laura Fergusson Rehabilitation specialises in the care and rehabilitation of clients who have experienced a neurological or physical injury or are experiencing the symptoms of a deteriorating neurological disease.

Its Whanganui centre in Liverpool St provides community residential living and respite services for about 25 clients.

RNZ has reported that the non-profit organisation's services in Whanganui, Waikato and Auckland will close by August after the board of Laura Fergusson Trust Inc voted to close the service, as it cannot balance the books.


"We are transitioning all services," Laura Fergusson Rehabilitation chief executive Heather McLeish told Checkpoint.

"Either finding other places for people to reside, or to have their service provided."

Other contracts are being completely sold on to other providers in Auckland, Waikato and Whanganui, she said, and the organisation would no longer be offering services there.

McLeish told the Whanganui Chronicle that discussions have begun with funders and providers to "transition all services currently operating out of the Whanganui Regional Centre with minimal disruption to the approximately 25 clients using the current services".

"We do not have a timeframe for the transition of services in Whanganui but discussions are under way regarding the transition of services to a new provider."

The Trust employs about 26 staff in Whanganui.

"At this stage it is 'business as usual' for the Whanganui staff as we work our way through the transition process," McLeish said.

The Liverpool St property is owned by an overseas landlord and the organisation holds an ongoing long-term lease on it, McLeish said.


However, the property is currently on the market with a local real estate agent. The agency's listing gives a number of possible options for the property, including the current lease allowing the purchaser to retain the facility on a "buy and hold" commercial investment basis.

Laura Fergusson Rehabilitation was set up in 1967 to provide residential facilities for people with disabilities who were otherwise being sent to rest homes. As well as providing independence for those with disabilities, it grew to offer extensive rehabilitation for people who have suffered strokes and brain or spinal injuries. It began providing services from its Whanganui Regional Centre in April 2009.

The organisation gets funding through the Ministry of Health and ACC, along with donations and trust fund money from its original benefactors.