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Published: 24 Jan 2019 - - Author: Newsroom

4th February 2020


$800,000 investment will cut travel for cancer patients


The announcement of a new chemotherapy and infusion unit for Whanganui Hospital will mean no more trips to Palmerston North for some cancer patients

Health minister David Clark included $800,000 funding for the unit last week when he revealed $300 million of capital investment in New Zealand’s district health boards.

Just how many Whanganui cancer patients will benefit is yet to be decided as the new unit is still in the concept stage.

“The infusion therapy unit will deliver chemotherapy and other infusion services at Whanganui Hospital, and this has been an aspiration for the district health board for some years,” said a DHB spokesman.

“Currently, patients have to go to Palmerston North Hospital and the development of a local unit will eventually mean an end to such travel for a number of patients.”

WDHB chief executive Russell Simpson said he was delighted to get the project approved _ along with $2 million funding for an expansion of the Waimarino Health Centre in Raetihi.

“Both projects will provide great benefit to the community and are in keeping with the DHB’s vision of ‘Thriving Communities -- He Hāpori Ora’,” he said.

In making the announcement last week, Mr Clark said regional services and improving access had been identified as priority areas for the government with the aim being “a more equitable health system which delivers for all New Zealanders”.

Currently, Whanganui patients have about 780 chemotherapy treatments a year undertaken by MidCentral DHB at Palmerston North Hospital.

The Whanganui DHB spokesman said the proposal was closely aligned with the theme “care closer to home” as it would reduce travel for patients, their whānau and DHB staff.

“This will help to alleviate the stress of travel, especially while feeling the effects of treatments, where to park, financial costs associated with travel and supporting family at home while patients and supports are away.

“Chemotherapy closer to home will reduce time spent away from home and family, and increase independence for patients. However, for clinical reasons, not all Whanganui patients will be suitable for treatment at the new unit.”

Patients and their whānau had played an essential role in the project’s development, he said, adding that the concept of a satellite site at Whanganui had been presented to both Whanganui and MidCentral DHB boards and recognised as a goal for the future.

As the project develops, one decision will be whether to have a purpose-built unit or to revamp an existing building. Initially, MidCentral staff will be used at the unit as Whanganui staff get trained up.

The spokesman said the project reflected Whanganui DHB’s commitment to achieving equity in health outcomes for Māori.


For further media comment please contact WDHB Communications Manager Mark Dawson on 021 2468126 or 06 3483170.


10th January 2020


Further local investment in student accommodation


The Collegiate Motor Inn in Liverpool St., Whanganui has been purchased as accommodation for international students undertaking their training at the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy (NZICPA).


WDC Holdings Ltd., which has previously purchased the former Nazareth Rest Home on St Johns Hill in 2019 for the first intake of cadet students from Indian Airline, IndiGo, has now secured the additional accommodation required by their subsidiary company, NZICPA.

Currently renovations at Nazareth are nearing completion, and will provide accommodation, catering and a base for the first group of students from India, due to arrive in a few weeks.


Annette Main, Chair of WDCHL said “ By mid-year, NZICPA will require accommodation for a further 75 international students, so when the opportunity arose to purchase an existing accommodation property to fill this need, we saw this as an excellent location.

NZICPA is providing classroom training and fixed simulator training for their students from their base at Whanganui Airport, and now at the former St Georges School in Grey St, so a large group of students will now have accommodation with only a few minutes walk necessary for a good proportion of their training needs.

We are fortunate that this property has been made available in a central area at a time when property is becoming less easy to source.”


Mayor Hamish McDouall said “ The expansion into the international market by NZICPA has been incredible. That more accommodation is required is a testament to its success as a contributor to our local and regional economy. The purchase of the Collegiate Motor Inn means that there will be no impact on the rental housing market from these new international students living in Whanganui, and the demand for housing our region is experiencing will not be exacerbated.”


Matt Doyle, who chairs the Board of NZICPA agrees, saying, “The intensive course of study these students are undertaking here in Whanganui requires considerable focus and adherence to strict principles.

Most, if not all of these students will never have left their home country, and life in New Zealand will be a very new and challenging experience for them.

Our responsibility to their families and funders, is to give them every opportunity to succeed, and we know this is more achievable by accommodating them in the well managed and supportive environment our live-in facilities provide.”



Annette Main

Chair, Whanganui District Council Holdings Ltd.

Ph. 021466486

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