New Zealand’s first EASIE Living and Demonstration Centre – which will display exciting and innovative high and low tech living options for people with disabilities, and the elderly was officially opened in Palmerston North today.
For the first time customers, and those working in the health and disability sector, will have a range of services encapsulated within the EASIE Living brand, under one roof – ‘a one-stop-shop’.
The centre, in the former RSA building, 585 Main Street, was officially opened by Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith, in place of Minister for Disability Issues Nicky Wagner, who was unable to attend because of parliamentary commitments. A public open day will be held on Monday 22 February from 8.30am to 5pm.
EASIE (Equipment, Advice, Services, Information, Education) Living Centre is the latest innovation from Enable New Zealand, which has been providing disability support services for over 40 years, and now reaches 50,000 people a year.
Chair of Enable New Zealand’s governance group Diane Anderson said: “Throughout its life Enable New Zealand has looked to deliver value for its funders and clients, and is always seeking to break down barriers and foster an enabling community and society.
“The EASIE Living Centre is its latest innovation and I see its success as being its strong community base. This is a gathering place for people with a disability and the elderly – it is their centre. They have helped shape its development, and they will shape its future. Here they can gather to share and seek information, test products and supports to help them do what they want to do and have control of their lives.
“The EASIE Living Centre reflects MidCentral DHB’s strategic direction, which is all about improving the health and wellbeing of its communities through partnership, innovation and excellence.”
Enable New Zealand General Manager Scott Ambridge said:“The centre is a collaboration with the private sector and we would not be here today if it were not for the commitment and dedication shown by our centre partners…I would like to sincerely thank them for coming on board and buying into what we are trying to achieve.
“We see the centre as a ‘gateway’ where we will work alongside people to assist them to find the best outcomes possible, which at times is not always about spending money, for example how we can utilise natural supports.
“The real strength of the centre is you can find everything under one roof from information and advice about community services through to specialist advice on equipment and housing modifications.
“Our demonstration centre offers the opportunity for people to See / touch and try out different gadgets and equipment in a real life environment to see how these supports might work at their home.”
At the opening MDHB CEO Kathryn Cook outlined the significance of a tokotoko (carved walking stick) named Te Rangiora, carved by Dyanni Simon, which was presented to the centre. It is a representation of an altercation between two brothers Tu-matauenga and Rongo-ma - tane, over supremacy of a marae.
President of the Federation of Disability Information Centres Elinor Stratford presented a koru to the centre; and Rose Boddy, who is going to work at the centre and is a consumer of the services she will provide, also spoke to invited guests.
The centre will hold an open day on Monday 22 February from 8.30am to 5pm, and then be open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm, and Saturdays 10am to 3pm.
• Enable New Zealand is based in Palmerston North and is the largest provider of support services across the health, rehabilitation and disability sector for the provision of equipment, housing and vehicle modifications.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945