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Sunday, 05 May 2013 14:21

Critical Health Praxis: Te Puia Springs Hospital

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Hauora front
This PDF outlines the development of a design and briefing process for Ngati Porou Hauora - a Maori Regional Health Authority by the Community Design Studio at the University of Auckland from 2000 to 2002. It first of all outlines the struggle relatively poor health of Maori and their struggle to acquire and take control of their own health needs. The example focuses on the revitalisation of te Puia Springs Hospital on the remote East Coast of New Zealand. It shows how a system of official neglect allowed the population of (mostly Maori) women suffer serious malpractice in laboratory cervical smear tests, leading to instances of avoidable malignancies. It also shows how the hospital was allowed to fall into disrepair before being handed back to Maori, and it outlines their continuing struggle to achieve a sustainable health programme for their people in the face of significant geographical and fiscal difficulties.
It was in this context that the CDS was approached by the CEO of the Hauora to develop plans for the revitalisation of the small east Coast Hospital at Te Puia Springs that had recently been returned to its Maori owners. The hospital had been systematically neglected by the Regional Health Authority over preceding years and was now in a state of advanced dilapidation.

Over a period of 15 months, a series of classes developed a $20 million redevelopment plan for the hospital. The process included:

  • a comprehensive survey of the facilities and grounds
  • an extensive maintenance audit
  • an energy and environmental audit
  • a series of facilitated workshops with staff and east Coast community residents.
  • The poroduction of a 25 year development plan forn a 6-phase development

 Key toi the success of the plan would be the "internalising" of the hospital's economy and the pursuit of  Maori goals of self-determination and independence. Development included:

  • The design of a new thermal pool complex for therapeutic and recreational use
  • The development of a Health-Tourism component
  • New workshops and Maintenance facilities
  • New dining and kitchen facilities
  • Refurbished maternity unit
  • New A&E wing with new garaging for ambulances
  • New Administration
  • New Entrance/Atrium with Reception, Café, Creche, Whanau Room etc.
All of this was done within the framework of tikanga Maori (Maori tradition) and with the intention of creating a truly Maori healing environment. The temptation to Maorify the design with applied decoration and carving was resisted as being paternalistic, but major aspects of cultural geography are integral to the form and layout of the spaces.


To download Te Puia Springs Report PDF click here .


The Te Puia Springs Report PDF is supplemented with an animated fly-through rendition of the final hospital design. in the form of a Powerpoint presentation (PPt) 

To download finished design fly-through Ppt click here  

Read 9910 times Last modified on Friday, 28 June 2013 12:57

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