Just before sunrise recently, a group of dignitaries, guests and future residents gathered for the blessing of the new Moxon Centre behind St Andrew’s church.
Following a karakia, two clergy walked each of the three floors in the centre during the ceremony, blessing each room with holy water and a special prayer to match the function of each space.
The $14 million facility will provide independent living apartments as well as rest-home and hospital-level care. There are 11 independent living apartments on the top floor, with the middle floor comprising of two clusters of 12 residents, each with a single room and ensuite. The bottom floor includes communal living spaces, a hair salon, an industrial kitchen and dining room.
Former Archbishop of New Zealand, Sir David Moxon, for whom the building was named, was one of the clergy undertaking the blessing.
He likened the facility to a little seed, planted in the ground with branches that can become home to many birds. “A large tree where people can come and nest and stay and enjoy life’s last quarter,” Sir David said. The centre is ideally placed to allow residents to interact with the town and the sacred space of St Andrew’s, he added.
Board Chair of the not-for-profit Selwyn Trust, Dr Kay Hawk, said it was the unlikely that the trust will build something on this scale again. Now a registered Community House Provider in Auckland, the Selwyn Trust has taken responsibility for more than 1400 social houses for older people in that region, she said. They have also partnered with an Australian company to launch Inviga, a system where the elderly are connected with health care professionals and support through ‘tele-healthcare’.
Basic medical tests, such as diabetes and blood pressure checks, can be done at home, with the results transmitted to a nurse who will check on the patient every day. “It means they can stay in their own home for longer,” Dr Hawk said.
It will also enable the trust to care for more people, because not having to purchase land gives them greater flexibility, she added. “We’re changing,” she said, with a smile.
The Moxon Centre will have its official opening on December 1.