Taranaki Cancer Centre site blessing prepares for construction

10 August 2023

The site of a new integrated cancer care centre for Taranaki people has been blessed by Taumaruroa - Ngāti Te Whiti and the eight iwi of Taranaki - in preparation for construction to start.

The ceremony brought together current oncology patients, Te Whatu Ora employees, representatives from the National Cancer Control Agency - Te Aho O Te Kahu, and leaders of the Project Maunga construction team.

The state-of-the-art building is scheduled to be completed in 2025 and will provide significant benefits to those in Taranaki diagnosed with cancer by integrating all cancer treatment services.

The centre will mean Taranaki patients won’t have to attend appointments at multiple locations or make the difficult journey to Palmerston North for radiation treatment.

The purpose-built facility will also house a Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machine – which uses radiation to destroy cancer cells while leaving surrounding tissue undamaged – and bring all related oncology outpatient services under one roof, says Gillian Campbell, Te Whatu Ora interim Hospital and Specialist Services Lead, Taranaki.

“Starting with demolishing the hospital’s old laundry over the last few months, the Project Maunga team have been concentrating on getting the site prepped for construction of this next development of our hospital campus facilities,” says Campbell. 

“Today has been about taking a moment to ensure the site is culturally ready for its new purpose including an acknowledgement of its history for local iwi.”

Te Whatu Ora equity lead for Taranaki, Tamati Neho, described the event as being important because it was about casting intentions.

“When you build a new house or whare, you make sure your foundations are solid,” says Neho. “In a way, we've done just that for the Taranaki Cancer Centre with this blessing. We’ve made sure this facility has the best possible footing or base so that the mauri or life force from those who attended today will be able to organically feed into patients and the healing process.”

Last updated: Friday, August 11, 2023

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