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Under one roof . . . Plunket Timaru staff (from left) Shelley Hawkins, Rochelle Davis, Merrilyn Williams and Jane Denley are happy to be working together. PHOTO: GEORGE CLARK

by George Clark

Timaru’s six Plunket sites have formed one central hub which will officially open to the public on August 19.

Plunket Timaru community service manager Jane Denley said property maintenance issues such as heating and limited available parking were a driving factor behind the move to 18 Woollcombe St – the site of Community and Public Health’s South Canterbury office.

“For many years now, Plunket had identified that we had a lot of buildings around Timaru city and wanted to consolidate down to one or two.

“It has taken a lot of time and energy to find a suitable building.”

From drains to electrical to roofing to hail damage, property issues were never-ending, she said.

“It is almost a fulltime job sorting out property maintenance on one building, let alone doing so with seven.”

They are down from six sites to one, and still running the Aoraki Plunket Toy Library in a rented room at Timaru Christian School.

Plunket’s Dee St family centre has been sold and offices in Butler St vacated.

Highfield and Marchwiel locations are in the sale process.

When the Woollcombe St building became available, Plunket jumped at the chance to redesign it to suit its needs.

“This allowed us to focus on the fun things and provide activities for the families in our community, giving one central point and place of work.

“It feels nice to work with your staff all together as opposed to individually.”

Culmination . . . Jane Denley looks over old news clippings, letters and photos that have been brought to the new building. PHOTO: GEORGE CLARK

The hub houses three Tamariki Ora (well child) clinics, a meeting room, a large room with a kitchenette and storage area with child-friendly doors for playgroups.

It also features a virtual meeting room, post-natal adjustment service and administration offices.

Working at the centrally based hub are five Plunket nurses, a community services manager, a clinical leader, two health workers, six community services staff and three support services staff.