GISBORNE Hospital’s Morris Adair building will be emptied of staff and services because it is an earthquake risk.
About 100 employees, clinics and offices will be relocated following an engineer’s report that says the 47-year-old building is not up to modern earthquake standards.
Tairawhiti District Health chief executive Jim Green said the decision to relocate staff and clinics was a prudent one, given the findings of an earthquake structural assessment report.
“The report doesn’t suggest the building would collapse in an earthquake — just that it is not as resistant as a modern building would be.
“It rates at 20 to 25 percent of new building standards, which classifies the building as grade D or ‘high-risk’.
“This building has performed well in previous earthquakes.”
All staff and clinics will be relocated and TDH will get further assessment and engineering reports, then make further decisions about its future.
The Morris Adair building houses the women’s health clinic, community mental health clinic, population health, WellChild, and planning and funding offices.
Some clinics will be relocated within the hospital and others established off-site.
About 20 people will move into the main building of Gisborne Hospital. Locations outside the Ormond Road campus will be found for other staff.
Mr Green said it was important that staff who needed to work together were relocated in a way that allowed them to continue to work as a team.
“We are going through the process to find space for those teams now.
“Our plan is to have everyone relocated by June 30.
“This is an unsettling time for everyone at TDH, but I am confident we can manage the relocation of staff and services in a co-ordinated manner, with the least possible disruption.”
The Morris Adair building is a four-storey, reinforced concrete-framed building constructed in 1965.
It was built as a maternity hospital with elderly care wards.
In the 1990s, a maternity area was created in the main hospital, and residential elderly care services were transferred to the community.
The building became vacant until 2003 when it was refurbished from Morris Adair Trust funds.
The building housed clinical and administrative services, including relocated public health, community mental health and NGO services from central city locations.