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NZAF’s Burnett Centre to relocate

November 12, 2007


NZAF’s Burnett Centre to relocate

The NZAF Burnett Centre will relocate next year in order to expand its services and reduce waiting lists.

The centre provides HIV testing, counselling and support services from a base in central Auckland, and the Foundation says an increased demand on its services has necessitated the move.

“This is a direct result of the burgeoning number of new HIV diagnoses in Auckland, combined with the success of our rapid testing programme,” says NZAF National Positive Health Manager Eamonn Smythe. “This has led to waiting lists, which can only be reduced by increasing staff numbers. Whilst we can afford more staff, there is no space left at the current location to house more counsellors or social workers.”

The NZAF Trust Board recently approved the Burnett Centre moving into a dedicated separate space with its own entrance on the top level of a building in Hargreaves St, off College Hill in Ponsonby. This is next to NZAF’s National Office and Northern-based health promotion teams.

“We explored a number of options for relocation, with our first focus being on several buildings in the K Rd area where the Burnett Centre is currently located,” Smythe says. “The costs involved with these properties simply didn’t stack up when compared with the College Hill option. Remaining in K Rd would result in our struggling service being forced to make further cuts.”

Smythe says he is confident the Hargreaves St location will provide a confidential, accessible space that will best service the diverse communities who use the Burnett Centre’s services; including gay and bisexual men and the HIV positive peer support group Positive Women, who are joining the Burnett Centre in its move.

“We believe Hargreaves St is still central enough to act as a hub location for all those who currently travel from the suburbs to access its services, those living in the city centre, and those who travel to Auckland to access this service.”

Refurbishment work is set to begin in December and be completed in time for the new Burnett Centre to open its doors in February 2008. Services in the meantime will continue from the Burnett Centre’s current location in Poynton Terrace.

Following the move, the possibility of providing outreach services in the K Rd area will be explored, Smythe says. “Our Trust Board have made a clear commitment to ensuring an ongoing bridge with Body Positive and other communities based in the K Rd area.”

ENDS


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