Coastal Taranaki could soon have community transport

1 November 2012

Help may be on its way to Coastal people struggling to get to essential commitments such as social service or hospital appointments and training opportunities.

New Zealand Red Cross have partnered with Taranaki DHB Public Health Unit to look into a free transport service for the people of the Coastal Taranaki.

Recently, the Coastal Taranaki Health Trust has also joined the project and they will be hosting a public meeting to inform the community of what the service could look like and what the next steps are. Trust member Adrienne Hickey says: “This isn’t just about improving transport to Hawera and New Plymouth – we see this as a way of also bringing people into the proposed new Coastal Care centre to be based in Opunake”.

The public meeting will be held on the 27th of November, 7:30pm at Sandfords Event Centre and a survey on transport needs is now being distributed to the community for feedback . Surveys are available through Four Square stores around the Coast, Schools, Opunake Medical Centre and the Opunake Library. The survey is also available to download here or online at

Surveys can be returned to the same venues or at the public meeting on November 27th All returned surveys go into the draw to win $150 Opunake Business Association vouchers.

“Once this information has been gathered we will be able to move the project forward, ” says Karen Lawson, Area Manager New Zealand Red Cross.

It is proposed that New Zealand Red Cross would co-ordinate the free transport service and people wanting to utilise the van would book their seat through an 0800 number service. “The service would rely on community volunteers to drive the van. Volunteers would be offered free training; including first aid and defensive driving courses before taking the reins of the brand new 12 seater van. Community members are also needed to set up the governance of the trust,” said Ms Lawson.

Taranaki DHB Health Promoter Alisha Stone says having another free transport service available to the coast will contribute to improved health outcomes for the community.

“Currently there are services available to those attending medical appointments such as the Opunake/Coastal Emergency Transport Service” says Ms Stone. “We see this new proposal as building on the strength of current services by filling gaps for those who need transport for more than just medical appointments. Transport could also help to remove barriers to gaining and maintaining employment and participating in further education,” she said. “It will also enhance opportunities for social interaction and community socialisation.”

We encourage everyone to support this initiative by completing the questionnaire and attending the meeting. “It would be a shame to see the bus disappear around the corner so to speak before it had stopped at the station.”

Click here for the Coastal Community Transport Poster.

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Candace Noyes
Programme Support Coordinator – NZ Red Cross

Last updated: Friday, November 9, 2012

DHB - About Us | Contact Us | Find Us | Sitemap | Disclaimer | Ministry of Health | New Zealand Government | Taranaki DHB Private Bag 2016 New Plymouth 4342 | © 2010