Gerard Campbell |

Hāwera now has a new ambulance station thanks to the amazing support of the South Taranaki community.

The new facility, which is located on Waihi Road in Hāwera, was officially opened at a special ceremony on Saturday, 23 March. It has been operational since December last year.

Attendees included local dignitaries, Hato Hone St John Order members and paid staff and volunteers. The Pātea Māori Club opened the ceremony with a waiata and song.

Building of the new station began in February 2023 and Hato Hone St John worked closely with local iwi Ngāti Ruanui, who conducted two blessings: One prior to construction starting and the second when the station became operational.

Māori design elements have been incorporated into the build, including the use of the Hato Hone St John manawa line into the outdoor pavers, and Ngāti Ruani donated and blessed a stone that was placed under the foundations of the building. 

The modern ambulance station features a three-bay parking garage to house ambulances and other emergency vehicles, four resting areas for staff, office space, a vehicle wash bay, 16 car parks for staff and visitors, a kitchen and communal areas, showers, bathroom facilities and ample storage space.

Hāwera Area Committee chair Heather Brokenshire says they were "extremely grateful" to the local community for its support since fundraising started eight years ago.

Fundraising efforts included a black-tie auction and dinner that raised more than $16,000, a further $21,000 from the Lloyd Mogan, Normanby and District Lions Club, Eltham Lions and Altrusa

Hāwera, a live “shave off” by local electrician Brett Werder that raised $13,680 and a donation by South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon of $5,150.

“We are so proud that Hāwera has an ambulance station that will service the town for years to come and we want to thank the South Taranaki community and our donors and sponsors for their continued support,” Mrs Brokenshire says.

The station was built to Importance Level 4 (IL4) standard, meaning it will be operational immediately after an earthquake or another natural disaster. An open day is planned for the donors and backers who supported the project.

Megan Stewart, Hato Hone St John Area Operations Manager - Taranaki, also thanked the community and the area committee for its hard work, saying the new Hāwera station has boosted staff morale after working from temporary premises for so long.

“This new station is a crucial part of South Taranaki’s emergency services infrastructure,” she says.

“Not only will it future proof Hato Hone St John’s emergency response capabilities in the region, but it will also allow us to continue to support the wellbeing of residents in the community and help build a stronger, healthier, more resilient South Taranaki,” Ms Stewart says.

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