Cranford site at Chesterhope

Plans for the new Cranford Hospice build at Chesterhope in Pakowhai have been paused in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Chris Tremain, Cranford Hospice Foundation Chairman says the proposed site of the new home endured less damage than the wider Pakowhai area. 

“I have viewed the site, and whilst there was some light flooding to the southern side of the property, the orchard and nursery on the northern side escaped largely untouched. The minimal impact of flooding highlights the resilience of the site,” says Tremain. 

However, stock from the Chesterhope Farm made their way onto the site, to seek safer higher ground and have “trashed” much of the work that had gone into restoring the gardens.

The hospice is well down the track with planning for the new build on land donated by the Joan Fernie Charitable Trust at Chesterhope Station. Over $14.2 million has been raised towards the target of $15 million and resource consents to build a hospice on the rural site have been given the green light by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Hastings District Council.

“I don’t think it’s a time for kneejerk reactions,” says Tremain. “But I think it’s important we take time to understand the future of the Pakowhai area and get some pointers from HBRC and HDC.”

He says that despite the resilience of the site, the Cranford Hospice Foundation Trustees understand that there will now be a range of wider questions from staff, volunteers, donors, and the public. 

“We all agree that now is the time for calm heads,” says Tremain. “The trustees, building executive, and project managers will be working closely together to assess a range of key data to help inform future decisions.” 

There will be a temporary pause on expenditure towards current plans until Trustees have received informed advice and have a clear path forward, which will include further community engagement. This will also result in a delay of the build programme. 

Cranford doctors, nurses and family support teams are caring for more than 154 patients and their families living with palliative care needs in Hawke’s Bay. The team encourages you to call 06 878 7047 if you need specialist palliative care or advice. 

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air


Join the Conversation


  1. There are engineering solutions to build a safe facility in possibly one of the most peaceful spots one could wish to be cared for in the final days of one’s time on earth.

  2. We fully support the pause and the need for expert advice and community consultation. It is fantastic that the $15million goal has nearly been reached and support further fundraising if Cranford needs more money to increase the resilience and safety of the site or the build, eg building further off the ground etc

  3. The forward thinking of future weather events possibly affecting the establishment of a new hospice is to be recognised as a sensible strategy in these times.Fantastic news that the $15 million is nearly on target.Looking forward to learning of ideas discussed for further progress.

  4. Well done for such a tremendous result in almost achieving the target set for fundraising. Mighty effort. Sensible approach now applauded to assess the solutions required for a strategic result to the build in this possibly vulnerable but eminently desirable location, so fit for purpose. Tackle the issues ahead with your usual integrity Chris.
    There will be a way.
    Ian S.

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