Left to right: Steve Corkill Treasurer, Adrienne Hickey Secretary, Mary Lawn,
Julie Morgan, Paul Bourke, David Tamatea, David Lusk, Dan Holmes Chairperson,
The Coastal Taranaki Health Care was estabished in June 2006 when a group of concerned people came together to ensure there would be a primary health care medical facility in Opunake township for the benefit of the Coastal Taranaki Community.
A considerable amount of research and consultation was carried out by the trust to determine the requirement for health services and appropriate delivery option. Visits weremade to Patea, Eltham and Waitara Medical Centres. At this time the town had two GP practices and soon after its formation one of the GPs retired and sold his practice to the current GP.
The trust, after hosting a successful community health meeting, to provide general information
on nutrition, drugs and alcohol during April 2008, went into recess. However, the trust was approached in 2010 by a local person to support him in his proposal to seek funding under the umbrella of the Coastal Taranaki Health care for a pilot programme for youth and adult mental health in the South Taranaki area.
At about the same time the existing GP also approached the trust to explain his difficulty in providing an appropriate medical care for the community in the current Medical Centre building which is leased and subject to "landbank" conditions. The building is in a poor state of repair and it was becoming difficult to attract doctors to the area. PHO restructuring was underway and funding was being directed into communites it had become an ideal time to look at a facility that can bring all the various umbrella groups under one roof in an intergrated purpose built facility.
For Coastal Taranaki, it represents a true hub or one-stop ‘shop’ of health and wellbeing. Construction began on the 900 sqm building in May 2014 and work was completed in April 2015.
The idea of a central hub gathered momentum when one of the town’s GPs retired in 2010, and the second GP indicated that his site was becoming unsuitable.
The project cost about $2.25 million, the project has been supported by grants from the TSB Community Trust and the Lotteries Community Facilities Fund. Local people have also embraced the project, and supported the fundraising efforts. One charity event for example raised $70,000, and in addition, pledges and individual donations have been made with donations still coming in.
Now that building has been completed, trustees say it’s a real talking point. Individuals and some businesses have donated equipment and time.