Rawhiti closes its doors

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

A move to chan­nel more fund­ing into home care has ul­ti­mately led to the clo­sure of Rawhiti Rest Home in Mata­mata.

Rawhiti Rest Home owner/ op­er­a­tor Barry Chap­man says his fam­ily took on the ser­vice five years ago as a long term ven­ture, in­vest­ing time and money into the ser­vice.

‘‘You get to the point where you look at it purely at a busi­ness per­spec­tive, we have been fi­nan­cially prop­ping it up. We didn’t want it this way, we were there for the long haul, but it hasn’t worked.

‘‘We are ter­ri­bly sad that we have had to close it, we think Mata­mata is the loser. If some­one was look­ing for a rest home bed in Mata­mata, I doubt there would be any at the mo­ment.’’

The fam­ily-owned busi­ness which pro­vided 24 beds and em­ploy­ment to 15 staff closes its doors on Fri­day.

‘‘When I told the staff that their jobs were go­ing and then res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies that we could no longer sus­tain it, it’s the hard­est thing I’ve ever done in my life.’’

He says with the DHB en­cour­ag­ing el­derly to re­main in their homes longer, opt­ing for home help over fund­ing rest home care, is putting a strain on rest homes na­tion­wide, but that doesn’t take into ac­count the com­pany, ac­tiv­ity and friend­ships rest homes of­fer.

Waikato Dis­trict Health Board ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of pub­lic and or­gan­i­sa­tional af­fairs Ly­dia Ay­don says she un­der­stood the com­pany di­rec­tors of Rawhiti Rest Home de­ter­mined fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity was an is­sue.

‘‘In this par­tic­u­lar case the ser­vice was housed in a listed build­ing which placed re­stric­tions on op­por­tu­ni­ties for the own­ers to ex­pand or add ad­di­tional re­tire­ment units.’’

Small sin­gle-ser­vice rest home fa­cil­i­ties were find­ing it dif­fi­cult due to lack of de­mand, she says.

Chap­man ac­knowl­edges it was chal­leng­ing to op­er­ate but build­ing re­stric­tions did not play a part in the de­ci­sion.

‘‘We ac­tu­ally had pro­posed plans drawn to ex­pand, but when ad­vised by the DHB that they were sat­is­fied with the num­ber of beds avail­able at Mata­mata, we de­cided against the idea.’’

He says ev­ery res­i­dent from Rawhiti has been placed in other rest homes.

‘‘It has all been done care­fully and gen­tly and the tran­si­tion has gone quite well.’’

JEREMY WARD/PHOTOSPORT

Rawhiti Rest Home will close Fri­day.

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