In response the Volunteer Fire Brigade must be ready, ready for anything, and that readiness includes the support services.

There’s always a doctor on duty/call-out and they can only guess what that siren sound means, it might be a straight medical emergency or perhaps involve some mountaineering skills to access a vehicle over the side of the road and down the hill. The windy hill road to Akaroa is not for the faint-hearted! And that’s the best of the hundreds of kilometres of Peninsula roads.

Up until the earthquakes of 2011 Akaroa had a highly respected hospital and although not equipped to the standard of the city hospitals, filled an important gap in local medical support. Besides the 24 hour service, there were beds for overnight cases and respite care. Many speak highly of their recuperation at Akaroa having been sent there after medical procedures at in Christchurch.

Since that fateful earthquake day Akaroa health services have had to make do, shifting their base as space became available. Pompellier House, a retirement rest home, was pressed into service to fill the gap but its days are numbered. Adding to the pressure is the influx of cruise vessels unable to use Lyttelton, often bring more than 10,000 extra people to the harbour. Thus the normal population of 600, swollen to some 4,000 with summer vacationers, increases to over 14,000; that brings many problems as a good percentage of visitors are older people. One comment put the incident rate at averaging more than three per day during the summer/cruise ship period.

This Health Hub is not just for the few locals, the need is to cater for the visitors who provide the majority of emergency call-outs, to make it safer for everyone, whether on one day or short stay visits, emergencies don’t know the difference.

Add to that the congestion on the roads in and around the Bays, and to and from the City. The pressure on the health facilities can be huge. Akaroa and the Peninsula folk have banded together to push for a restoration of the Akaroa Hospital and while this will not be fully realised, the local DHB has agreed to build a Health Hub, provided the local community chip in with some $3 million.

Thus an Akaroa Health Hub Fund Charity has been established to which The Phoenix Lodge No 43 has undertaken to contribute substantially. A commitment has been made to donate in excess of $50,000 to the Fund for the purchase of equipment and provision of amenities. As of August (2017) there is over $13,600 in the Lodge Health Hub Fund with a further $10,000 allocated by the Canterbury Masonic Charitable Trust.

In recognition of the commitment, Naming Rights for the A&E Room at the new health Hub have been obtained in the name of Freemasons New Zealand to recognise the wide support from Freemasonry.
The Phoenix Lodge No 43 whose mission statement is to be “A Robust Member of the Akaroa/Banks Peninsula Community”, seek to make this a successful Freemasons New Zealand effort. The Lodge seeks your help to reach their first step target of $25,000, before any Trust subsidies are added.

Contributions from individuals, Lodges or via Lodge Projects should be made to The Phoenix Health Hub Fund, P.O. Box 15, Akaroa 7542 or direct to Heartland Account - The Phoenix Lodge No.43 - Charity:  03-1783-0501892-21. All donations will be handled with strict confidentiality however Charity receipts are being issued to all identified donors.
Akaroa Health Hub Limited, the funding body for the proposed Akaroa Health Hub, is a registered charity; Registration number: CC50204.  IRD charity rules apply to donations over $10.

VW Bro T D Carrell, Phoenix Health Hub Funding Committee.

Akaroa Lighthouse - Another Landmark!