For centuries Te Puia Springs has been a sanctuary of cultural significance and healing for Māori. The site is particularly significant for Ngāti Porou, but was also known as a place of peace, where Māori from other tribes and people in conflict, could come to heal in safety. This historical context sits firmly beneath the recognition that redeveloping the hospital facilities at Te Puia is a key step to improving the health of our people within one generation.
This year, with support from New Zealand Lottery we have been able to have completed an independent Feasibility Study on the redevelopment of the facilities in Te Puia. The study has been carried out by Impact Consulting and looks at the potential not for a ‘bigger hospital’, but rather to redesign the existing infrastructure and unlock the potential for a more holistic facility which will better serve our community. The project is an invitation which seeks to draw other significant community stakeholders together in Te Puia to collaboratively improve health, social and economic outcomes for our region.
When we think of “health”, most people instantly think of preventing or curing physical sickness ie. a hospital. However, from a Māori perspective health is more about wellbeing. It encompasses much more than our bodies and is intrinsically linked to all we do, including our social interactions with others. It is fantastic to have a document which really unpacks the details of what this could look like and what is needed to bring it to reality. We believe this Feasibility Study will be a powerful tool in helping us move forward with this important project.