Home' The Wellingtonian : September 15th 2011 Contents 6 THE WELLINGTONIAN, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
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Care facility turns the corner
By JARED NICOLL
A rehabilitation residence in New-
town known for its history of viol-
ence has pushed ahead under new
leadership and its proper name,
Te Menenga Pai.
Carole Maraku took control of
Te Menenga Pai (often known as
Mansfield House) 19 months ago,
and had since secured a boost in
funding from the district health
board for more fulltime carers,
and tightened restrictions on who
is welcome to stay.
The facility accommodates 17
people suffering from mental ill-
ness or involved in drug rehabil-
itation. It drew attention in
August 2009 when a resident was
stabbed to death and, two months
later, another was killed after set-
ting his room on fire.
Ms Maraku said resident safety
was her top priority and
additional funding from the dis-
trict health board meant the num-
ber of fulltime carers had
increased from two (plus one part-
time) to six.
Touch wood, we haven t had
any serious incidents, and a lot of
that is because of the work we ve
put in here, she said.
It s about providing a more
family orientated environment,
it s about these guys -- not just the
expectations of the staff looking
after them, but these guys looking
out for each other.
The house currently holds 15
male residents and two women.
We run two shifts of carers,
three people on each, and that has
helped us enormously in terms of
safety and being able to do a lot
more with the guys, she said.
Ms Maraku began managing
the house after her predecessor,
Blossom Tropman, died last year.
She began restricting the people
who could stay at the facility. She
will take those referred to her by
community groups, but not any-
one referred by the Ministry of
Te Menenga Pai resident Shane
Ngatai, 32, said he suffered from
schizophrenia and had lived at the
house for about four years. He
said he had seen many positive
changes under the new manage-
It s really good. Carole s opened
up more opportunities, Mr
Last Christmas she took some
some of us she dropped off to our
families places . . . all the things
she does for us, like our shopping
and stuff, helps us out with our
Resident Bill Hohua, 62, said he
had come from a broken marriage
and suffered health problems.
It s excellent; all the staff here
are very good with the boys. The
doctor referred me here because I
had nowhere else to go, Mr
All that bad history, that s all
gone now. Carole s like a mother
to them, and that s how many of
the boys see her. Any problems
that arise Carole sorts it out.
Radiotherapy machine a first
By JIM CHIPP
Leader of the pack: Radiation oncologist Carol Johnson is delighted the
board's new radiotherapy machine has arrived.
Photo: JIM CHIPP
Wellington s sometimes strained
cancer services have taken an
important stride forward with the
delivery of a new radiotherapy
machine, the first of its kind in
Capital & Coast District Health
Board radiation oncology services
clinical leader Carol Johnson said
the Varian Truebeam radio-
therapy linear accelerator would
allow more sophisticated treat-
ment for some cancers and
improved efficiency for most.
The $5 million machine was
delivered to Wellington Hospital
last week, replacing a 14-year-old
machine that had delivered more
than 100,000 treatments.
Dr Johnson said the new
machine offered better-quality,
lower-energy CAT scanning,
which can more accurately direct
radiation treatment while expos-
ing patients to lower levels of
It will allow us to treat people
in a more complex fashion, with-
out the same impact on wait
times, she said.
However, these were specialised
applications usually used for liver
cancer, secondary brain cancer or
small primary lung tumours, Dr
The new machine s imaging
capabilities will also offer modest
but important gains in the unit s
When you are treating lots and
lots of patients these small gains
Every year, 1300 patients
receive about 20,000 radiation
treatments at Wellington Hos-
pital, Dr Johnson said.
Radiation treatment rates have
grown by 23 per cent in the last
Dr Johnson said there would be
a few weeks of disruption while
the accelerator was installed and
commissioned, and the remaining
two machines would run for longer
each day to maintain services.
It s really important that we
keep the through-put of patients
because we don t want the waiting
times to blow out, she said.
The six-tonne United States-
built machine had to be floated
into the hospital on hovercraft.
It is plug-and-play , in that it
has been designed to fit straight
on to the old machine s base, using
the same plumbing, electrical and
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