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Family support made more visible

Left to right: Ngati Kahungunu kaumatua Nelson Rangi, Patrick Waite, Lyn Patterson and Dianne Te Tau at the blessing of Family Works on Chapel Street. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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Bold, bright green signage is up, and iwi have blessed Presbyterian Support Family Works new premises on Chapel St, which is now open.

Around 30 people came to Monday’s blessing that involved a walk through all rooms and out again with karakia [prayer] and waiata [songs].

Newly-appointed services manager Dianne Te Tau is excited and ready to lead the team. She has significant experience working in social services including child protection, youth at risk, health, sexual assault and adult guardianship.

Te Tau is wrapping up her work with Maori for the Counties Manukau District Health Board and then would be fully immersed in Wairarapa.

“I hope my broad range of experience will assist me to lead my team,” Te Tau said. “I am passionate about working alongside people to improve their health and social well-being.

“It’s good to be back in Wairarapa with my husband Piri.”

At the blessing, Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson said she was pleased to see such a strong presence for the services.

“It is awesome the building is on Chapel Street,” Patterson said. “This makes it visible for those that need it and for whanau to come in.

“This resource is important for the health of our community. It has been at Kandahar Court but this is a better situation and brings the whole Wairarapa service together.”

PSFW has a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Justice to deliver some restorative justice services and counselling services that are a directive from the courts.

Services that were in Featherston at Turret House for 30 years have stopped. Featherston clients can access services from the Masterton office. But PSFW is still operating relationship counselling and some parenting clinics from the Featherston Community Centre.

Presbyterian Support chief executive Patrick Waite, who is overseeing the Enliven retirement villa expansion, has confirmed that now Turret House is empty, it will go up for sale.

“There is plenty of interest in it,” Waite said. “It would be good for medical services or social services but then again, the house is very old and could be moved off the site and restored so there are options.”

The organisation has owned the building for 30 years.

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