Plunket needs a new HQ
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.
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.