Sports Club Steps In For Testing Centre
30/09/2020 10:30:28 a.m.
Community spirit to support drive-thru COVID testing has resulted in a win-win for the district health board and a Rotorua sports club hit by a shortened season.
Kahukura Rugby Sports Club has leased its Pukuatua St clubrooms to the DHB to provide on-going testing facilities after the current lease expired on the Vaughan Rd site and a monthly extension was no longer an option.
That meant staff had to identify another suitable location, secure a lease and arrange a move at rapid speed.
Representatives from Bay of Plenty District Rugby League, Puketawhero Park, also offered its facilities.
“We’ve driven around the whole of the city looking for the ideal site,” says Lakes DHB Facilities Compliance Officer Robert White.
“We even had real estate agents advocating on our behalf, but commercial landlords want a more permanent tenant and being associated with COVID-19 was also an issue.”
He says that when searching for a testing centre venue there were several criteria, including staff facilities, traffic flow and space for queued vehicles.
“One other sports facility would have been perfect but they said no. We were thrilled to be contacted by Jenny Nahu at the rugby league, and Molly White and Ron Preston at Kahukura.
“We’re now able to support a community organisation that is supporting us. Kahukura has had a hard year with a shortened season; this is a win-win for us both. I want to acknowledge Jenny Nahu too for being willing to help.
He says he and other facilities staff scoured the city from between the airport to Ngongotaha, but most were unsuitable due to traffic management.
“The best location we’ve had was the Energy Events Centre but they’re now business as usual. Unless we buy a big field and build a clinic this is our best option.”




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