Plun­ket needs a new HQ

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Lisa Har­ri­son

A YEAR on from a Guy Fawkes night fire that left them home­less, San­dring­ham Plun­ket is still wait­ing for its cen­tre to be re­built.

The branch was run out of an Auck­land City Coun­cilowned build­ing on San­dring­ham Rd when it burned to the ground in a sus­pected ar­son at­tack last year.

Plun­ket com­mit­tee mem­bers have been cam­paign­ing since the fire for coun­cil staff to start the re­build­ing process.

In the mean­time Plun- ket ser­vices have been run­ning from a small of­fice at St Martin’s Church, but the space is in­ad­e­quate.

The group has be­come so frus­trated it ap­pealed last month to the Eden Al­bert Com­mu­nity Board for help.

Since the meet­ing mem­bers have met with an ar­chi­tect to de­sign a new build­ing and dis­cussed costs with the coun­cil.

Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Kate Saun­ders says some progress has been made but there is a long way to go.

“We need a build­ing that will fully cater to the com- mu­nity around here,” she says.

The orig­i­nal San­dring­ham Plun­ket build­ing was do­nated by for­mer Mt Roskill mayor Sir Keith Hay in the 1950s and lo­cated at 427 San­dring­ham Rd, next to the Eden­dale Re­serve.

Up un­til the com­mu­nity board meet­ing last month, the com­mit­tee had met with coun­cil staff but had no com­mit­ment on when re­build­ing would start, how much it would cost or who would pay.

The build­ing was in­sured for $150,000 but Mrs Saun- ders says that’s not enough to re­build in to­day’s mar­ket.

The group says the new build­ing needs to be larger than the old one to cater for the grow­ing com­mu­nity so fundrais­ing is un­der way to meet the short­fall.

Mem­bers have so far come up with $5000 but will need about $100,000 more.

“San­dring­ham and Kings­land are grow­ing and the Plun­ket nurse needs pur­pose-built fa­cil­i­ties to cater for an ex­pected in­crease in the num­ber of chil­dren she will see in years to come,” she says.

Mrs Saun­ders says while the lack of action in the last year has been frus­trat­ing, since the board meet­ing the coun­cil has helped move the process along.

Deputy mayor David Hay, son of Sir Keith, says he learned of the Plun­ket group’s sit­u­a­tion a month ago and stepped in to help.

He says the de­lay was caused when a staff mem­ber han­dling the case left the coun­cil and did not pass on the ap­pro­pri­ate pa­per­work.

The in­sur­ance claim has now been put in place and plans and a bud­get for the build­ing should be fi­nalised later this month.

Mr Hay says $150,000 is ad­e­quate to re­build the cen­tre so it is fair that the Plun­ket branch raise the re­main­der if it wants a big­ger build­ing.

San­dring­ham Plun­ket is hold­ing a Baby and Tod­dler Sale at Eden Park to­mor­row to raise money for the build­ing project.

A range of new and used baby toys and clothes will be on sale from 9am to 2pm in the ASB Lounge.

For more in­for­ma­tion call Kate on 815-9592.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Fed up: San­dring­ham Plun­ket com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Kate Saun­ders and her daugh­ters Natalie, left, and Ruby on the site where the old Plun­ket build­ing burnt down a year ago. They are work­ing with the coun­cil to re­build the cen­tre.

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