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New Plunket building set to start 6 September

2 September 2011

New Plunket building set to start 6 September

It’s all systems go for Plunket Hawke’s Bay! Construction of its new $1.3 million dollar centre for families in Onekawa begins on 6 September.

“After so many months of planning, fundraising, and negotiating all the details, it is so gratifying and exciting that our vision will become a reality,” says Alison Prins, leader of the project for Plunket Hawke’s Bay.

“We are largely a volunteer organisation and so many people and businesses around the region have given so generously to get us to this point. There is such goodwill towards Plunket but this current economic environment has certainly not made it easy. It’s fantastic that we can start the build.”

The new Centre will provide Hawke’s Bay families with a facility for centralised services to support parents from pregnancy until their children start school. Specifically designed for this purpose, the 595 square metre building will be located on Napier City’s Onekawa Park, adjacent to the Napier Aquatic Centre and Omnigym building.

This location provides easy access by being close to bus routes and the expressway, and provides free parking. Having hours outside of normal working hours, including Saturday mornings, will mean that more fathers and working parents will be able to access a greater number of support services.

In addition to Plunket nurse clinics, car seat rentals, and toy library, the new Centre will be home to Napier Parents’ Centre and its range of parenting services.

There will be clinic rooms for midwives and other health professionals to hire, along with group rooms for parent organisations and community groups to rent for a nominal fee. There are also plans for a child-friendly cafe and a baby and maternity op shop.

The existing one-on-one parenting support services offered by Plunket around the region in its other centres will be located in the new building.

Building Consent was approved this week by the Napier City Council’s building and planning department following a remedial action plan developed in response to Resource Consent requirements. The remedial plan ensured that the building’s foundations would be on solid ground and the building was on safe soil, says Plunket’s designer, Ben Luders of Eos Design.

Funding for the Centre has been an ongoing affair for the project team and is now at a level sufficient for construction to commence. Support has been wide ranging and a number of grants have been obtained from charitable trusts including Infinity Foundation, Kingdom Foundation, Lion Foundation, Hastings District Masonic Trust, Endeavour Community Trust, Wolstencroft Trust and ECCT.

In addition, many businesses have gotten in behind the build, which is to be handled by Napier firm, Richard Kepka Builders, donating time, labour or building supplies.

There has also been an extensive calendar of fundraising activities over the last year, kicking off with the Mitre 10 Mega Playhouses for Plunket event held last September and due to happen again over the weekend of 17 and 18 September, where building companies from around the Bay construct playhouses one day that are then auctioned for Plunket on the Sunday.

Over 20 businesses participated in a Team Plunket business challenge over the month of June, and their collective efforts contributed $15,000 towards the tally. Some of their initiatives included a soup kitchen, a bikeathon from Hardinge Road in Napier to Clifton Bay, an all-day gym session, and a name the baby staff competition.

Photographers from HB Today provided artistic large canvas print photos that were auctioned at a special event. ‘Mother of the Nation’ Judy Bailey, an advocate for Brainwave Trust, spoke at a Plunket fundraiser dinner, while Prime Minister John Key spoke at a fundraising breakfast on September 1.

Fundraising for this project will continue over the next few months to secure the balance required to fit out the building and kick start operations.


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