It just looks like a big green shed but what happens inside will help provide free end-of-life care to the people of the Mid North.
Hospice Mid Northland's $900,000 processing centre for donated goods, in a 675sq m insulated panel shed on Kerikeri Rd, was formally opened yesterday by Health Minister David Clark.
The shed will be used by volunteers to sort and repair the flood of second-hand goods donated to the charity's op shops in Kerikeri, Kawakawa and Kaikohe.
It will also house a furniture shop and a storeroom for medical equipment.
Hospice Mid Northland general manager Belinda Watkins said the three op shops turned second-hand goods into first class care by bringing in about $500,000 a year, more than 40 per cent of the organisation's total income.
However, cramped conditions in the old sorting centre in central Kerikeri had become a health hazard for the mainly elderly volunteers.
Space constraints also limited their ability to move goods quickly and efficiently to where they could be sold.
It was hoped the new sorting shed would boost op shop income by $100,000 a year.
''Patient numbers are growing, donations are growing, our need for funding is growing — so we need to grow,'' she said.
The shed was mostly paid for by a $700,000 grant from Pub Charity while council-owned company Far North Holdings had managed the project without charge.
Speakers at Friday's opening included Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, who spoke of the ''tremendous service'' the organisation had shown members of his own family.
''It's the volunteers who, without looking for praise and certainly not for money, keep the kaupapa of a place like this ticking over,'' he said.
Clark said the project was a ''great example of what can be done by motivated individuals who care about their community.''
More than 200 people — including volunteers, kaumatua and kuia, MPs, the mayor and deputy mayor — attended the opening.
Hospice Mid Northland is due to move out of its old sorting centre on Masonic Lane next Friday.