Wednesday June 7, 2017
Wesleyhaven faces uncertain times after losing $25,000 a month By Dave Crampton
Residents and staff at Wesleyhaven Village in Naenae, including Wainuiomata staff members and former residents, face uncertainty after the board of Wesley Community Action has recommended that the retirement home and hospital be closed by August 18. Wesley Community Action is part of the Methodist Church. Its director, David Hanna, said the facility was losing $25,000 a
month and a consultation process was under way, with a final decision expected on June 20. Any decision to close will not affect the 32 villas, which will continue to function as rental units for independent living. About 80 jobs are expected to be affected, including workers from Wainuiomata. “We are aware of how unsettling this situation is and are keen to provide clarity as soon as possible,” Hanna and board chair Peter Glensor said in a joint statement.
The E tu Union and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation are aware of the proposal and are expected to provide feedback by June 14. While upgrading the hospital was considered, this would cost up to $19m. Mr Hanna said this would not be financially viable, and a smaller scale development would not make enough of a difference to attract new residents. Hutt South Labour candidate Ginny Andersen, whose mother-in law lives at Woodland Mews,
said the closure was a ‘real worry’. “The big question is where are they going to put those people – where are they going to go if they can’t afford places like Bob Scott (in Petone).” National list MP Chris Bishop, who has had two grandparents at Wesleyhaven, was disappointed and said he will provide any assistance he can. “I think it’s sad. I`m reasonably worried about it. It’s been around since 1952 – part of the Hutt for a long time.”
Mike King intersperses serious message with humour By Dave Crampton
There were laughs, shouting, anger and swearing and a hard-hitting message when Mike King spoke in Wainuiomata last Monday night at a packed community centre. More than 250 people turned up during business hours to hear Mr King speak on two serious interlinked issues – suicide and depression, and the role of anger in both. He asked the audience how many have never had a suicidal thought. Few hands went up. “Ten per cent have never had a suicidal thought – but you are shocked that 40 per cent of our kids do?” he asked. “The number one sign of depression in men today is anger - hands up if you know anyone who is angry,” he added. A lot more hands went up. “If you put your hand up, it’s probably you,” he said. Mr King told his story about
Mike King addresses the audience with a serious message, and hope wristbands are displayed by Bennett Pomana and his partner Pepa Faulkner
his issues with self-esteem and how he first made people laugh, at age 13. “For the first time in my life I had an affirmation – and I wanted more of it. I called it the pursuit of temporary happiness.” After a brief moment of ten-
sion when local resident Mike Grigg addressed Mr King – see separate story page 7 - Mr King noted that a suicidal tendency, no matter how strong, is not a mental illness. “It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain, and you just have to
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fix it,” he said. After the meeting Mr King gave out many ‘I am hope’ wristbands - saying that our kids need hope, and they need to be loved and valued. He said he had more than 50 messages of support from Wainuiomata residents in the 18 hours after his meeting. “I’d come back to Wainui tomorrow – I was really thankful for the opportunity.” Co-organiser Bennett Pomana said the night was a huge success, and the attendance exceeded his expectations. “I didn’t expect this many people. It just goes to show he’s just an admirable man. It was a very fitting way to help start Youth Week.” Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace was also impressed. “I thought Mike was fantastic. He brought a bit of humour to what is a very serious community issue – the suicide rate is far too high.” “There were not too many dry eyes in the place.”
inbrief news Claims that Living Wage is unjustified Hutt City Councillor Chris Milne has posted a 2300 word essay entitled “Living Wage Scuppered”. He notes his opposition to the council’s vote on the living wage, in particular, paying a living wage where it is the most cost-effective way to deliver a council service. “It’s a bit like resolving that the CEO can pay a salary of $80,000, where that’s the most cost-effective way to deliver a service,” he wrote. He said it was clear “beyond any doubt” that a blanket living wage cannot be justified under the ‘most cost effective’ test in the Local Government Act because there are really no tangible benefits accruing to council or ratepayers.
Civic Honours Awards Nominations are now closed for the annual Civic Honour Awards. The Youth Services award recognises a young person aged 15 to 25 who has carried out outstanding voluntary community service. The voluntary community service awards recognise people who have contributed in the categories of community services, cultural affairs, educational services, recreation, social services or youth activities. All nominations are considered by the Hutt Council’s Civic Honours Committee. If the nomination is successful, and nominees are willing to accept the award, they will receive a certificate and silver medal presented to them by Mayor Ray Wallace at a Civic Honour Awards function.
Hit and run At around 12.20pm on Friday June 2 a white SUV hit a 4-year-old, slowed down, then kept driving away at Connolly St, Lower Hutt. The boy now has a broken leg and needs surgery. If anyone knows who the driver of the vehicle may be, please contact the Lower Hutt police on 5602600.
Wainuiomata News 07-06-17