At Wednesday’s meeting of the District Health Board, the acting chief executive, Warrick Frater said the DHB would not contest the appeal that has been lodged against the Hastings Council’s recently-approved resource consent. The consent, sought by DHB, would permit the Springhill Addiction Centre to operate from a former retirement home on Tomoana Road, opposite Cornwall Park.
Tomoana Road residents, former clients of Springhill, and current Napier neighbors of the Springhill facility have opposed the move.
Responding to a query from Board member Kevin Atkinson, Mr Frater said that the DHB had met with the Springhill Trust and would participate in mediation of the matter, but would not spend additional funds to defend the resource consent.
That puts the ball in the court of supporters of the current Centre location to raise the funds required to rehabilitate the facility, bringing it into compliance with applicable building and service standards. Between fundraising and actual renovation, this could be a lengthy process, twelve months or more, during which the current facility could not be used. Therefore, an acceptable interim arrangement must be found for providing services. One option to be considered is to provide only day services during the renovation.
As the opposition from Tomoana Road residents underscored, finding welcomed sites for residential addiction treatment services is no easy matter. The fact that the Centre’s current neighbors have been so supportive of keeping the facility at its present location (good on them) perhaps should have been the deciding factor in the first place.
And the DHB would have saved the $41,000 already spent pursuing its resource consent. Mr Frater indicated he thought any further funds would be better spent providing addiction treatment.