North Taranaki Midweek
Budding entrepreneurs in with chance to win $5000 cash prize
A new MRI machine has lifted the roof at Taranaki Base Hospital.
The state-of-the-art machine, used to produce detailed images of the inside of the body, weighed in at a whopping 4 tonnes and was too big to bring through the doors of the hospital and up on to the second floor.
So instead of knocking a hole in the wall to get it through, contractors took the roof off, craned it in, before they put the roof back on.
If that was not enough, contractors also had to strengthen the floor with extra steel and concrete as well as instal new ceiling beams to protect the floors below. All in the middle of winter. Te Whatu Ora Taranaki project manager Heather MacKenzie said a new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine was needed because hospital’s previous one had become unserviceable after more than 20 years’ use.
The new MRI machine is on lease until a permanent replacement is bought, along with a new CT scanner, when the east wing building is completed in late 2024.
The scale of the work needed to get the machine in meant some services, like cardiology, were temporarily relocated.
‘‘Everyone involved with this major piece of work, which took six weeks, responded so well, it made the job so much easier to get done,’’ MacKenzie said.
Patients needing an MRI scan during that six weeks were transferred to other radiology services in the region,’’ she said.
Te Whatu Ora Taranaki head of radiology Dr Ryan Walkin admitted the six weeks were a difficult time, but everyone realised it was for a long-term benefit.
‘‘So it was a matter of putting in alternative patient pathways and being flexible about work spaces and so on until the job was done,’’ he said.
‘‘We have gone from having the oldest MRI scanner in the country by quite some way to one of the newest, so we are pretty excited about getting it commissioned and having the training so we can use it to its full potential.’’
Six budding Taranaki entrepreneurs have been selected for a 10-week Innovate miniaccelerator programme with hopes of winning $5000 cash at the end of it.
The programme, run by The Factory and Innovation HQ, selected the six finalists from a group of 11 semifinalists.
The finalists are Brendan Gammeter – VetCorrect, Daniel Reeve – Interactive history game, Darius Thorn – RC arena game, Malcom Gomes – Access Control, Renee Manella – Neurological rehab app, and Warren Willetts – WashAway.
Business ideas range from apps for decluttering wallets to educational video games, and neurological rehab to vehicle washing.
‘‘The variety of ideas was impressive, and it was great to see physical prototypes,’’ says Ross Patel of Innovation HQ–who are partnering with event founders The Factory (Manawatū) to deliver Innovate in Taranaki.
‘‘The variety of ideas was impressive, and it was great to see physical prototypes,’’ Ross Patel of Innovation HQ said.
The 10-week mentoring programme pairs a budding entrepreneur with a business mentor, and together they attempt to test and validate their business ideas, refine unique value propositions, understand target markets, and establish a business launch strategy that might attract further investment.
The Taranaki business mentors include Peter Hilliam and Andy Potter from BNZ, David Benson from Datacom, Mark Wipatene from Taranaki Iwi, Nick Gain and Scott Haumaha from The Factory, and Suman and Sachin Modgill, Stephen Hill and Simon Singh from Innovation HQ.
The finals evening is a ticketed event open to the public at 6pm Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at the Novotel, New Plymouth.
The event will feature talks from Taranaki business success stories Morgan Maw, founder of Boring Oat Milk and MC Moose, a well-known Taranaki personality and DJ.