Hospice opens its doors


The finishing touches are being put on what is being hailed as the best hospice in the country.

The Nelson Tasman Hospice officially opens its doors tomorrow following an unprecedented community fundraising effort.

CEO Frans Dellebeke says the facility reflects the importance the hospice holds within the Nelson community.

A number of initiatives, including Dancing with the Stars and Steampunk Fantasy fundraisers, contributed to the completion of the multimillion-dollar project.

“That is a reflection of the service we provide and the staff we have got.”

The soil was broken in February 2018 with an original budget of around $13 million and managed to come in under this with the facility costing $11.5million.

A dawn ceremony will take place tomorrow morning followed by a blessing of the building.

“The speed to get this up and running has been amazing, everyone has done a magnificent job,” says Frans.

He says there are literally thousands of individuals who have helped contribute to the facility.

“It has been an absolute pleasure and now the staff can’t wait to get in.”

Patients will move into the ten-bed facility from April 11.

Frans says the hospice will be among the best facilities in New Zealand.

Gibbons Holdings Construction chief operating officer Shane Trench says, despite small delays due to the drought, the construction process has been a smooth one.

“Our guys have been working 60-hour weeks in the last month, so we’ll be looking forward to giving them a break.”

Shane says there is a strong sense of community connection among workers.

“They have really taken the community element to heart which is why they don’t mind going the extra mile, it will be near and dear to all of us at some point.”