Library and Child Health Hub

June 2017 update 





Construction of the new Library and Child Health hub is progressing well, with the official opening planned for late November 2017.

Library services and child health support services will be co-located in the hub, which is a collaborative venture between Rotorua Lakes Council and the DHB. 1


The park alongside the library, Jean Batten Square is being developed to create a community plaza, and Haupapa Street alongside the library building is also being redeveloped to provide plentiful parking and a safe area for people to get to the building.


Rotorua Lakes Council needed to make improvements to the building and the DHB wanted to establish a child health centre that would be easily accessible and welcoming for families.









Who’s going to be in the children's health centre?
•  Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (iCAMHS)
•  the Child Development Team (assessment and therapy service for children with developmental issues)
•  the Public Health Nursing and Screening Service
•  some Paediatric Outpatient clinics – those needing more complex tests will still happen at Rotorua Hospital. The plan is to have clinics on one evening a week to help parents who can’t attend daytime clinic appointments with their children.
•  Community oral health management
•  Gateway staff (health and education assessments for all children entering care)
•  maternity advice
•  the Rotorua Children’s Team
•  Space for staff from government agencies and other services will be available on site






In the new hub, the children’s health centre will occupy approximately 2,000 sq m of the building, with the library taking up approximately 4,000 sq m of the refitted building.

Lakes DHB will be a tenant in the building and will pay rent. Some areas of the building will be shared – some staff facilities, and the main entrance.

Some DHB services will be situated on floors where there are also library services. The multi sensory room in the library will be available for health visitors. The new layout includes meeting rooms, with one in the area previously occupied by a cafe, which will also have external, after-hours access. 

A large sized change table will accommodate those children who are adult size who need to be changed. Feedback from consumers was the trigger for this.

Inspiration for the designs of the building and Jean Batten Park have been drawn from Maori stories of creation, exploration and discovery, enlightenment and collaborative strength.

 The Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Lakes DHB and project lead, Gary Lees says every care has been taken in the design to meet the needs of both library and DHB service users and ensure services don’t impact on one another.

Gary Lees says the plan is to make it easy and efficient for children and their families to access health services
“For that to happen, the services need to be organised, managed, planned and funded around what the child needs and the services must be both patient and family focussed.”

Gary says the plan is for the centre to take a holistic cross-agency perspective on every child and their family, and that it will operate in a person-centred way to help service users navigate through the multiple, mostly health-related services.

Gary has been working with CE Ron Dunham to support the development of a multi-agency approach to children’s services. He says working more collaboratively, both within health and across the different government agencies and NGOs will be critical.

”Every time there is a boundary between workers/teams/systems, there is potential for miscommunication, time delays, misunderstanding, and the possibility of a child falling through a gap. We see this in arguments about who is responsible for care delivery and even in the multiple sets of records that exist in different teams/departments,” said Gary.

Gary says co-location of people does help to break down silos as staff get to know each other’s work and find it easier to talk to each other.

Chief Executive Ron Dunham says health is no longer a single distinctive system but part of a wider organised system around the child, and working together across the different sectors and providers is key to improving outcomes for children.

He adds that for many children, nothing will change in the way they receive their health services (e.g. registration with primary care, immunisation, B4 School checks, dental care) and many of these will have minimal interaction with the health centre.

Other children will require more complex services that need to be spread over a longer period. There are many children in the Lakes district with high needs and their caregivers can struggle to get to appointments and to work their way through what can be a complex system of different services. The risk is the more complex the pathways and the more points at which they have to find their way to different services in different locations, the more likely they are to fall through the gaps and be lost to the system.

The Library Child Health Hub, Te Aka Mauri is nearing completion and is scheduled to be officially opened in late November 2017. Te Aka means vine/interconnection and mauri means life force or essence. The name reflects the shared values of the library and the DHB to create a facility of excellence to advance wellbeing and understanding in our community.

Who: The proposal is a collaboration between Lakes DHB and Rotorua Lakes Council.

Where: Rotorua Public Library building, Haupapa St. The library building is 6000 sq m, and the health centre will occupy 2000 sq m, with the DHB a tenant of the building.

Why: Lakes DHB wants to deliver services to children and their families that are welcoming, easily accessible, streamlined, and logical. Scheduling of appointments should see the child and family able to access a range of services during the one visit to the centre, removing the need to attend a number of appointments on different days.

When: Construction began in spring 2016 and will be completed by November 2017. Development of the Haupapa St area next to the library building and the Jean Batten Park in front of the building are part of the construction schedule. Jean Batten Park will undergo safety treatments to make it more pedestrian-friendly for library and health hub users.

How: The health centre will be a hub of DHB-provided and commissioned health services, with space for intersectoral partners to occupy as and when needed. The centre will be where whanau, community and agencies go when dealing with children’s issues, with an emphasis on looking at and trying to meet the range of needs that affect the health and wellness of the child.

How much: Lakes DHB’s contribution to the cost of development of the hub is set at approximately $4 million.