History of Hospice Taranaki

Timeline marking events in hospice growth

The following is a brief outline of the development of Hospice and Palliative care in Taranaki.

1985: February a Hospice Steering Committee was formed following a public meeting in New Plymouth, working towards setting up a hospice service in New Plymouth.

November public meeting was divided on the setting up of a charitable trust and the Steering Committee was disbanded.

1986: Taranaki Hospice medical staff, support the idea of an inpatient hospice program.

1988: The hospice cause continued to be promoted by a new group called The Friends of Taranaki Hospitals Society. Several major fundraising events were held including a dinner with Sir David (then patron of Hospice NZ) and Lady Beattie in attendance.

1992: Charity Concert with Dame Malvina Major as the main artist was held.

Hospice Steering Committee established on April 9th with representatives from the Friends Society and the Cancer Society.

In August a discussion booklet "The Proposal" for a Hospice facility was produced.

1993: On May 20th the Taranaki Hospice Foundation was incorporated as a charitable trust.

July - Midland Regional Health Authority released policy opposing the concept of stand-alone hospice units.

At the Friends of Taranaki Hospitals Society AGM, the society reported a significant fund had accumulated from community events and donations. It was resolved to support the objectives of the newly formed Taranaki Hospice Foundation and the society went into recess.

1992-94: Planning and discussions continued in an environment of major change within the health sector.

1993: Taranaki-wide public appeal launched. It raised $100,000 in first 12 months.

July - At a meeting with the Regional Health Authority it became evident that they did not favour a stand-alone hospice inpatient unit. The policy then became an inpatient unit to be located within Base Hospital with the service contracted out.

1994: The first co-ordinator of volunteer support services was appointed with a 60 strong team.

On November 2nd Taranaki Hospice Foundation celebrated the purchase of its David St property to become a day stay unit to be known as Iona House. The Iona Medical Trust presented the Hospice Foundation with $100,000 which represented 90% of the purchase price of the property.

1996: Te Rangimarie hospice opened in what had been Ward 21 of Base Hospital. A six bed in-patient unit had been refurbished in a joint venture between the Hospice Foundation and Taranaki Healthcare.

Opportunity shop starts operating from back room in Iona House.

1998: Taranaki Hospice Foundation enters into agreement with TDHB to operate Te Rangimarie unit. Louise Forsyth appointed the first Nurse Manager.

Knitting group begins formally supporting Hospice Taranaki.

1998 - 2001: Demand and use of palliative care continued to grow in Taranaki with the deficiencies of the "converted hospital ward" Hospice beginning to show. 2001: 'Night to Remember' dinner party fundraiser launched.

2002: Taranaki Hospice Foundation 10 year celebration. Kevin Nielsen appointed as the first General Manager. The objective of having a stand-alone purpose built Hospice facility, first started in 1985, was never lost sight of and in September 2002 following a feasibility study the new Te Rangimarie Hospice project was formally launched.

2003: Fundraising target of $2.25m achieved. Cornerstone grants from TSB Community Trust $750,000; Taranaki Electricity Trust $400,000; NZ Community Trusts $200,000; NZ Lotteries Commission $200,000; Pukekura Lions Club $70,000; South Taranaki committee of Hospice Taranaki $50,000 and NPDC $50,000; along with many varied other donations from groups and individuals.

April: Westown HospiceShop construction started - opened in October.

September: Hospice in-patient unit construction started (Te Rangimarie)

October: Stratford HospiceShop opened.

2004: February - Jesus Christ Superstar performed at Bowl of Brooklands the first fundraising Show.

May: Te Rangimarie "place of peace" in-patient unit and Hospice Taranaki base, was opened by Dalton Kelly, President Hospice New Zealand.

April: Hawera HospiceShop opened.

2005: Constitutional changes: Taranaki Hospice Foundation re-structured - Hospice Taranaki Incorporated becomes operating arm; Hospice Taranaki Foundation responsible for asset management.

Hawera HospiceShop moves to bigger premises.

2006: Stratford HospiceShop moves to bigger premises purchased by Hospice Taranaki Foundation.

Day-care program extended to Fridays as well as Wednesdays.

Joseph staged at TSB Bowl of Brooklands raising $50,000

2007: Hospice Taranaki 15year celebration

Expansion of the New Plymouth HospiceShop

2008: First Life Members honoured: Dr Peter van Praagh, Shirley & John Fairey, Colin Muggeridge.

Cinderella pantomime at TSB Showplace raises $50,000

2009: Hospice Taranaki implements the Liverpool Care Pathway in Te Rangimarie as the standard of care for Taranaki residents in the last days of life.

Grease stage production at the TSB Showplace raises more than $110,000

2011: Hawera HospiceShop moves into Harding premises on High St.

New Plymouth HospiceShop Warehouse moves to new facility on Borrell Ave purchased by Hospice Taranaki Foundation.

Liverpool Care Pathway roll out by Hospice Taranaki to aged care facilities in Taranaki

Dr Ian Smiley made Life Member

2012: Hospice Taranaki 20th anniversary

February stage production The Wedding Singer performed at the TSB showplace

August: Waiwhakaiho (New Plymouth's second HospiceShop) opened - on the corner of Katere and Devon Rds.

2013: February 14th the Noel & Melva Yarrow extension wing to Te Rangimarie building was opened by Rosemary Tennant - thanks to benefactor Noel Yarrow.

2014: Peter McDonald was made Life Member

Late 2014 -Additional warehouse building built for the Hospice Depot named "Colin's Shed" in memory of life member Colin Muggeridge. Colin had passed away on 19th November 2014.

2015: HospiceShop Stratford moved to new building on the corner of Regan and Miranda Sts. (8th June)

2016: HospiceShop Waiwhakaiho moved locations, but only by a few doors. Much bigger premises allowing own sorting.

February: New Service Initiative - part of planning for the "Baby Boomers" A small team that focuses on the Aged Care facilities in Taranaki

July: Dr Marion Sephton retires after 14years with Hospice.

December: Mary McCaffery retires after 18 years with Hospice as the Receptionist

2017: Hospice Taranaki celebrates 25 years - produces book

August - Kevin Nielsen retired (15 years with Hospice Taranaki as CEO).  Paul Lamb new CEO

December - Judy Spranger retires following 13 years as the HospiceShops manager

2018: August opened a 'pop-up' Waitara HospiceShop to test the viability for a retail shop

2019:  Gifted the contents of Stan's Pre-loved Furniture. 

Waitara HospiceShop now one of five.  

Trade-me (HTI) has become a good source of funds.

2020:  Due to Covid-19 pandemic Te Rangimarie Hospice was closed until June and all nurses deployed into the community.  The HospiceShops were also closed.  Shops re-opened in May after being closed for 8 weeks.  Fundraising events that could be postponed were postponed until later in the year.  

Telemarketing campaign that began in Level 3 was very successful.  Grateful thanks to the community for their support.  

Hospice has launched its own Instagram platform (Handle).

2021: The year had started so well holding the inaugural Teeing off for Hospice event with George MacArthur at the Westown Golf Club - raising very close to $30,000

HospiceShops had changed the opening hours returning to closing at 3pm with Stratford and Waitara HospiceShops not open on Monday's (Waitara had never opened on Mondays). No donations were accepted at the Westown HospiceShop and the Borrell Ave Warehouse accepts donations 7days under new manager Kay Terry. Lisa Andrew resigned as the Waiwhakaiho HospiceShop following several successful years. 

Then due to a Covid-19 outbreak in NZ we went into a Level four lockdown in August. This again meant a closure of the HospiceShops, Warehouse and changing the way we worked with a lot more telephone consults. Doctors and nurses in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to make home visits. IPU did not close with three patients and a family member with them in their room.

2022: September saw the introduction of new signage, which for the first time includes its te reo ingoa (name), Te Kahu Pairuri ki Taranaki.