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Ngati Kahungunu blessing for new Havelock North village

Ngati Kahungunu kaumatua Jerry Hapuku has blessed the site of Ryman Healthcare’s new Havelock North village, clearing the way for work on the Hawkes Bay’s newest retirement village to begin.

Jerry joined with the Ryman Healthcare team for a karakia today, acknowledging the ancestors of the area and calling on divine protection for the construction team building the new village.

“Our blessing acknowledges our tipuna but it is also about calling for protection for the most important people of all now, the people who will be building this place. We want to make sure they are looked after,’’ Jerry said.

Project Manager Matt Smith said the construction team would number more than 300 when building was in full swing, and the aim was to get everyone home safe to their families each day.

“It means a huge amount to us to have this blessing. We couldn’t think of a better way to start the project.’’

The new $100 million village on Te Aute Rd will offer Havelock North residents a range of retirement living options as well as resthome, hospital and specialist dementia care.

The site is a short distance from Havelock North on Te Aute Rd and has views across to Te Mata peak. As well as creating construction jobs, the village will provide more than 100 long-term sustainable jobs for Hawkes Bay locals.

It will be Ryman’s 40th village.

The village will include a 90-bed care centre with resthome, hospital and dementia-level care.

It will also include 78 serviced apartments, 44 independent apartments and 103 townhouses.

Residents moving in will be able to choose a living option that suits, and independent residents and their families will have the reassurance of knowing there is care on hand in case their health needs change in the future.

The village centre will include a heated indoor swimming pool, a library, a movie theatre, a café and health and beauty salons.

There will also be a bowling green for residents who are keen on a roll-up.

Ryman Healthcare New Zealand sales manager Bernadette Forsdyke said the company would like to hear from anyone with any naming suggestions for the village.

Ryman names all its villages after significant people. Other villages include Princess Alexandra, Kiri Te Kanawa in Gisborne and Edmund Hillary in Auckland.

The Ryman team is looking for naming suggestions.

“We’d love to name it in honour of a respected Hawkes Bay local who everyone can identify with,’’ Bernadette said.


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