Taranaki Health Foundation announces full support for Mobility Garden enhancements

Taranaki Health Foundation announces full support for Mobility Garden enhancements

13 January 2015

The Taranaki Health Foundation announces its plans and full funding support of the Mobility Garden project at Taranaki Base Hospital.  The plan for the Garden is for on-site rehabilitation in real-life situations and the enhancements that the Foundation’s funding will provide include a warm, and welcoming environment for hospital patients and visitors, an inspirational design and a covered area to allow greater use of the space. 

Wendy Langlands, Clinical Services Manager (Health of Older People, Mental Health & Addictions) is very excited about the enhanced mobility garden located in the hospital grounds. “The purpose of a area like this is to allow rehabilitation patients to practice mobilising in an outdoor setting that poses similar challenges one might expect to find once they go back in the community. Our rehabilitation staff also recognise this can importantly be a place of respite for both general patients and visitors where they might relax for a moment in a non-hospital setting if the weather allows.

Local Taranaki companies have pledged in-kind donations such as their labour force, timber supply, lighting and electrical, water feature to the Garden in support of the Foundation’s “Improve Your Stay” campaign, which provides vital enhancements to Project Maunga, the redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital.  Donors to the Garden include our Foundation Partners: Mitre 10 Mega, Novotel Hobson Hotel, John Rae Insurance (JRI), McKechnie, AWE, Rivet, Taranakipine. Business supporters include: Jones and Sanford Joinery Ltd, Phoenix Shipping Agencies Ltd, Chain Resources, BW Offshore, Wells Electrical and donor the Ironside Vehicle Society.

The Garden was designed by local architect Murali Bhaskar of Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architects.  It features a striking wooden sculpture in the form of a tree and is being manufactured using in-kind donations such as local timber from Taranakipine and building support by Clealands construction. Mr Bhaskar says “I wanted to design a space that would meet the needs of those recuperating but also be a destination or draw card for those visiting or working within the hospital. The large timber structure will be a unique feature of the garden emulating a tree, but also forming a large open roof canopy”.     

After initial consultation, the Garden’s design is already gaining local accolades.  Local resident and Disability Action Group member, Lance Girling-Butcher describes, “It will make a dramatic enhancement to the entrance of Taranaki Base Hospital, help the those in need of mobility instruction, be a magic, restful sanctuary for the visually handicap to visit and add to the lengthening list of interesting architectural features in the city. Another visionary feature for our home city.”

Foundation Trustee, Philip Brown expresses, “Our Trustees have great pride in this project as it is a fine example of the type of healthcare enhancement that can be provided through the support of our donors.  To know that we can help create a beautiful, restful place where visitors, hospital staff and patients can benefit from brings us great joy.  We thank our Partners and Business Supporters for supporting this project.  Their generosity will make a tangible difference to their local Taranaki community.”

The Taranaki Health Foundation, founded in 1998 partners with the Taranaki District Health Board to enable their goal of the best possible healthcare for Taranaki communities.  It has raised over $6.7 million since June 2013 towards this goal.

Enhanced Features include:

A warm welcoming space for patients and patients at Taranaki Base Hospital
A large covered canopy- connecting to the main foyer and proposed coffee cart
A unique tree structure that provides shade and connection to the covered canopy
A special water feature
Additional planting
A walkway (adjacent to the pathway) which will be lit at night and serve to promote health messages and inspirational stories.
Proposed Timeline
Building consent for the project has been granted and contractors have confirmed their availability. The work programme is expected to take twelve weeks and will begin early February 2015.

For more information please call
Bry Kopu
Taranaki Health Foundation, General Manager
021 024 23808