Te Puna o Te Ora Upgrade

Te Whakahoutanga o Te Puna o Te Ora

The upgrade of Te Puna o Te Ora was driven by a need to create a safer, warmer, earthquake compliant and more accessible place for Kaumātua to come.
In a hui held with stakeholders and Kaumātua in 2014, it was decided that the upgrade would at a minimum set the goals of creating an age-friendly and dementia-friendly community based facility for Kaumātua.
The planning for the upgrade was facilitated by Mark de Lisle with Kaumātua hui helping to inform what Kaumātua felt was needed to create a space they would feel safe and warm in. Securing the total funding to make their vision a reality proved a challenge and with the advice of some experts in the area such as Lenadeen Simpson-Brown the Board agreed to break it into three stages.
Stage One of the Te Puna o Te Ora upgrade was opened on the 30th January 2020, by the Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Māori Development at the time.
This stage doubled the number of age and dementia friendly toilets available on site. It also made the wing most frequented by unwell Kaumātua safer, warmer, modern and earthquake strengthened. This stage also upgraded essential services, such as plumbing, wastewater and sewage systems.
Stage Two of the upgrade is currently in progress and it addresses a wing most frequented by Kaumātua for their social and wellbeing activities.
The most exciting part of the upgrade is the creation of a new Social Room to replace the old run-down building featured in a seven sharp programme on the 31st March 2021. See: Seven Sharp – Sweet Solution.
The new Social Room nearly doubles the room size and legal room limits of the previous room and includes a kitchen and storage area for resources. It also incorporates technology that allows the room to have programs which can be live streamed for the benefit of Kaumātua unable to physically attend programmes. A surround sound system and a noise reducing dividing door to create more wananga spaces have provided a multipurpose space better able to support Kaumātua wellbeing programmes. The associated wing that runs alongside the Social Room has also been refurbished to offer easier and quicker access to key people frequently needed by Kaumātua.
Included is a new reception area, treatment clinic, a mirimiri and acupuncture clinic as well as health team offices, a meeting area and a space for quick access to health resources ie.wheelchairs. etc. A small, modernised laundry and a much needed archgola that runs the length of the entire Social Room wing helps create the safer and warmer space Kaumātua requested. Finally, Stage 2 adds more parking spaces, a community garden and a landscaped recreational space to connect Kaumātua with te taiao, especially important for those living in units. It also offers 2 EV chargers, as well as solar panels to begin our journey towards being more energy efficient.
Overall, the design also focuses on addressing the challenges Kaumātua highlighted which were invisibility, inaudibility, and isolation, while safely increasing geographical reach and access beyond the buildings capacity through online availability to programs, especially for those unwell, bedridden, in rest homes, and with Dementia. COVID has taught us all the need of being able to connect and communicate with one another during a pandemic and emergencies. Stage 2 will be launched in 2023.

The proposed Stage 3 upgrade of Te Puna o Te Ora brings all key facilities under one roof, including the Kaumātua gym, education and technology room, Princess Te Puea wānanga room, Te Kirikowhai reception lounge and archive showcase area, a large multipurpose space for art, music, cultural performances and Kaumātua recreational and social enterprise programmes. Like Stage 2, Stage 3 will also incorporate a surround sound system, live streaming facilities to share programs, as well as a hauora and administration wing at the front entrance. Disability toilets, a resource storage room and mobility scooter charging area has been included in the plan as well as a covered pick up and drop off area with associated disability car parks included. Solar panels are continued outside with over 40 new and safe car parking areas. A memorial of brick plaques will line the walls leading to the entrance from the Waharoa and a small, covered seated area out under the Waharoa will ensure manuhiri are looked after in the way Kaumātua prefer. A steel framed fence to protect the facility will line the front. 

This renovation will be the final stage and if all has been done according to the guidelines provided by Life Mark and Alzheimers NZ, Mark of Peddlethorp Architects, Dale and Scott of Brymer Group Ltd and Bevan, Tracey, Errol and James from CKL Ltd would have created the first age-friendly and dementia-friendly community based facility for Kaumātua with us.