Asbestos forces hospice to dump donated goods
Up to 1000 boxes of donations will be sent to landfill after a storm dislodged asbestos at the Mary Potter Hospice facility in Porirua.
The hospice second-hand shop, warehouse, and community base have all been permanently closed at the Prosser St site after torrential rain brought down asbestos from the roof.
The majority of the hospice’s services for Porirua and North Wellington operated from the site, but spokeswoman Philippa Sellens said there would be no disruption to at-home care.
The weekly meet-up sessions for terminally ill patients would continue at another site, but Sellens was not able to provide details.
No products had been sold from the store since the asbestos was dislodged.
Asbestos fibres came down in the storage facility and shop, and Sellens said the community base had been closed as a precaution.
A volunteer at the Porirua store said the storage facility had been leaking for years, and she was worried she might have been exposed when volunteering.
The warehouse distributed to most of the stores in the region.
‘‘I’ve seen the stock, and some of the quality is unbelievable. Jewellery, prints, artwork, clothes, there must be a thousand apple boxes all labelled with all different things for all the shops,’’ she said.
‘‘The shops need the stuff from the warehouse to survive.
‘‘That’s all going to be dumped, and it all has to be bubble-wrapped, which is absolutely pathetic.’’
Sellens did not know how many boxes of product would be dumped, but said removal experts would be saving what they could.
‘‘We’re in the process of finding a new shop and warehouse. We’re committed to opening again as soon as possible, as the source of funds from the shop is so important to the service that we can provide to our patients,’’ Sellens said.
‘‘We are pleased that we are taking possession of our own premises in Porirua next year.
‘‘We are very committed to remaining in Porirua to provide the very best care to people in North Wellington and Porirua,’’ she said.
Mary Potter had purchased Emmerson House in Ranui Heights and would run community hospice activities from there from mid-2019.