Settling in: new digs feel like home

19:14, Feb 11 2013
tdn gym stand
New Plymouth School of Gymnastics coach Bryan Bamber now teaches young gymnasts in the new Courtenay St premises that moved from Barrett St. Samantha Frowde, 7, practicing the 'split leap'.

It has been a bumpy road for the organisations booted out of the Barrett St hospital complex six months ago.

But the majority of those told to vacate the building, deemed a health and earthquake risk in August last year, are coping well in their new environments.

New Plymouth School of Gymnastics head coach Brian Bamber said the club took over its new premises in Courtenay St in November. It had been a tough move, he said.

"We looked around all over the place; it was very difficult to find somewhere.

"We literally only had weeks to go."

Bamber said it had been a hectic and stressful time as he worked hard to keep the club running and all those involved happy.


"My daughter bought me a big bottle of rum and that was gone in three days. I tell you, it was a really stressful time."

Despite being disappointed to have to leave the club's original premises, Bamber said in some ways it had been a blessing in disguise.

"Things are better since we've shifted here; everything is a lot more positive.

"We're quite happy with it. It's not quite big enough for us but we've adapted."

Unfortunately all improvements cost money, he said, which they did not have a lot of.

The rent the club paid now was a lot more expensive than previously.

"What we paid in a year up there only covers five weeks here, but it was the cheapest we could find around the time we needed it the most," he said.

"But New Zealand Community Trust have certainly helped us out with some funding and have been very supportive to try and at least keep us going and let us be our own club."

Carrington Funeral Home owner Jill Fearn has had a big job on her hands since having to move its mortuary out of the complex.

The business had to gain approval to build a new mortuary at its Carrington St premises, which required a number of renovations.

Fearn said it had been a fairly disruptive and extremely expensive project.

"We thought we'd run into a few problems, being in a residential area, but we managed to get approval. The council was very helpful.

"It's been a huge expense but we think of it as a positive because now we have everything on site, which is going to be great."

The mortuary isn't the only new addition, with the funeral home looking to rebrand itself as Park View next month.

They also plan to introduce a private cremation service which would include a number of services such as picking up, washing, a casket, viewing and transport to the crematorium.

Fearn said its premises were much more relaxed, rather than clinical, which gave it a nice feeling.

"People love being able to come here and look out at the view of the park; they find it quite tranquil and healing."

Maori immersion early children centre Te Kopae Piripono has moved to a temporary location within Marfell School which opened two weeks ago.

Tumukauru (co-director) Aroaro Tamati said it was working out of three classrooms which had been modified to keep to standards required for an early childhood facility.

"It is a temporary relocation and we're very grateful and thankful Marfell has enabled us to be part of their community for the time we are there, and it's likely we will be there for at least a year to 18 months," she said.

"It just gives us breathing space in order to find permanent premises."

Tamati said Te Kopae Piripono was philosophical about having to move from the Barrett St complex.

"The Ministry of Justice deemed the whole site an earthquake risk and there's not a lot you can do with that fait accompli.

"You just work with the situation and they have actually been very accommodating and helpful to us given the situation."

She said the centre's whanau were positive and excited about the change. "They're looking forward to a bright future. Positive days ahead."

The Taranaki Daily News understands the Taranaki Music Education Centre has also moved to a new location in Davidson St.

Taranaki Daily News