Te Marae Ora (TMO) in conjunction with the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), is very pleased to announce the official opening of the new Te Puna Tiaki Wellness Unit at Rarotonga Hospital today.
At the same time, a new IT Building and Pharmacy Extension at the hospital were also opened.
Minister of Health, Hon. Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown, Minister for CIIC Hon. Albert Nicholas and Secretary of Health Mr Bob Williams attended, along with CIIC Board Members and CIIC CEO, TMO and CIIC staff, community leaders, and a range of NGOs in the health, mental health, and social services sectors.
Hon. Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown said “Te Puna Tiaki is a much-needed mental health facility with the capacity to accommodate up to four inpatients at one time and a larger number of outpatients. The design allows for future expansion, should the need arise. It has been designed and constructed specifically to allow TMO to appropriately care for patients with a range of mental health disorders. Key therapeutic features embedded in the design include internal and external courtyards, natural lighting, and landscape views with safe and comfortable resting areas.”
Hon. Albert Nicholas thanked Landholdings and Andersons for the construction of Te Puna Tiaki Wellness building. Nikao Beach Sheetmetal and Mann Short were thanked for their work constructing the pharmacy warehouse extension and TMO’s IT building, as well as acknowledging the efforts of all TMO and CIIC staff involved in the planning, design, construction and outfitting of the new facility. Special mentions were afforded to TMO’s Dr Evangelene Daniela-Wong and CIIC design and project officer Sally Hosking-Naea, key architects for the project.
Funding for this project was provided by the Cook Islands Government and totalled $1.2 million over three consecutive financial years. Funding for the IT Building and Pharmacy Extension, which together cost $700,000, was delivered separately through Covid-19 national pandemic funding streams.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CIIC and TMO was also signed at the opening, outlining responsibility for the management and operation of Te Puna Tiaki now being handed over to TMO, with CIIC retaining ownership of the building and providing support and maintenance, facility advice and resources if needed.
Secretary of Health, Bob Williams remarked how his staff are eager to move in and start providing services in this new fit for purpose facility. Following the handover of the building, he expects his staff will progressively start offering the full suite of mental health services, commencing in the next week or 2.