Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Marathon Build Comes To An End

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Marathon Build Comes To An End

Creating a new health centre worth $5 million for the Counties Manukau rural town of Waiuku has been like running an "ultra marathon", GP Mark Eustace says.

It's like seeing the finish line, having an ambulance riding alongside and still being unsure if you're going to make it, Dr Eustace told the crowd of about 200 people who gathered to celebrate the opening of Waiuku Health Plus on Friday afternoon [22 October].

"To say it's been a journey is an understatement," he says.

Dr Eustace, along with practice nurse wife Jo and local property developer Terry Short, designed, built and financed the new health centre which houses GPs, nurses, a midwife, pharmacy, dentistry, physiotherapy, a chiropractor, audiology, Labtests, visiting specialists and a caf (New Zealand Doctor, 23 April 2008).

"It was a bit difficult because I was the only doctor who wanted to be in it," Dr Eustace says.

Tenancy requirement brings in new services

Of the nine GPs who practice at Waiuku Health Centre, now housed in the Waiuku Health Plus building, Dr Eustace was the only one at a stage in his life where he was able and prepared to take on the risks associated with such a development.

"We had to have a certain number of tenancies before the bank gave us the loan," Mrs Eustace explains.

Having that certain number of tenancies has also resulted in new services being available in town, such as audiology, she says.

"It's been hard work and very stressful but I really do believe it's going to be worth it."

Health minister impressed

Health minister Tony Ryall, who was invited along to open the new building, certainly believed the effort was worth it.

Mr Ryall was so impressed by the building, he exclaimed to New Zealand Doctor while touring the premises: "Have you seen anything like this before?"

Patients too were astounded by the project, Mrs Eustace says.

A bit of madness

The key to the project's success was having the close involvement of local iwi Ngati Te Ata and Mr Short, who, as well as being a property developer is known as the unofficial mayor of Waiuku for his commitment and service to the town, Dr Eustace says.

Also necessary was a bit of madness, he says.

"It's a big thing to get your head aroundI guess you have got to be a bit mad as well.

"I would just say go for it. Be brave and [remember] where there's a will, there's a way."

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.