From left: Maungaturoto Community Charitable Trust member, Jamie Ewen, chair, Craig Fergus, minister Winston Peters and trust member Don McKay

Green light for dementia unit start

by Paul Campbell

Contractors are to begin pouring the concrete floor of the planned dementia unit at Maungaturoto’s Riverview Rest Home. The green light has been given, ending a year-long hiatus in the $3.6 million project as finance and fundraising has been put together.

The decision to resume building was made at a Maungaturoto Community Charitable Trust board meeting last week.

“The MCCT is very pleased to be able to proceed with pouring the concrete floor. It is a significant step in the build programme and has been made possible by community fundraising efforts,” said trust chair, Craig Fergus. The decision to proceed followed a recent visit to the rest home by Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters. “Winston was given a tour and in particular of the dementia unit build site,” Mr Fergus said.

“He was impressed with what the trust offers the Maungaturoto community and surrounding districts.

“Although he has no influence over funding decisions made by the Provincial Growth Fund — to which the trust has applied, having Mr Peters’ visit the site and add his personal support was rewarding in itself, by making the leaders of the country aware of what’s happening in the smaller regions.

“The trust still requires substantial grant funding to start the construction stage. We wish to thank all those that have contributed to the fundraising thus far; the community ‘buy-in’ has really gained momentum with events happening regularly.”

The 14-bed dementia unit at Riverview is to cost $3.6 million. Work stopped last April due to funding and surveying issues.

“To date, $654,000 has been spent on planning, resource and building consents. The trust has a bank facility of $1.8 million,” said Mr Fergus. “This leaves about $900,000.”

The trust fundraising committee has gathered more than $300,000 towards $500,000 from the wider Kaipara community, while grants are sought for the balance of $400,000.

A grant of $5,000 was received last week. Fundraising committee spokesman, Albie Paton says raising money for major projects in the Kaipara district over the years has always been a challenge.

“However we have always come through with the money required. The Maungaturoto and Paparoa halls, the Kaiwaka sports complex, facilities at Otamatea College, Matakohe and Mangawhai Museums and many other local projects have benefitted from local support. This project, while being built in Maungaturoto will be of benefit to the whole Kaipara area.”

Next on the fundraising list will be a nine-hole Ambrose golf tournament on March 9 at the Paparoa Golf Club on Golden Stairs Road.