Opening of Molly Pyatt House, ChristchurchSenior Citizens
Good afternoon and thank you for inviting me to be part of your celebrations today.
I am pleased to be here, not only as Minister for Senior Citizens, but also as a Christchurch MP. This is one of the real pleasures of my work, being allowed to share in occasions like this. This morning I was at the launch of a demolition, as the first of the old Housing NZ duplexes in Aranui come down, to make way for new housing, and later this afternoon I am attending an opening of a library in one of the schools in my electorate. To be part of this official opening and dedication helps cap off a day that is filled with new beginnings.
I too offer special greetings to Mrs Molly Pyatt, and to Bishop David Coles.
I think what makes this occasion particularly special is Molly Pyatt’s presence here today, as she and her husband, the former Bishop, were the last occupants of Bishopscourt before it was sold to Anglican Care, and developed into what we have here today in the Bishopspark retirement village and rest home.
The rapid growth in the private sector’s involvement in residential care of older people has seen the religious and welfare sector play a diminishing role over recent years. Yet at the same time the religious and welfare sector represents an important alternative to the ‘for profit’ sector and constitutes a moderating influence in an area that has unfortunately become more identified with commercialism than a social service.
The investment made by Anglican Aged Care in upgrading Bishopspark represents a welcome reaffirmation and confirmation of the churches’ role in this important area of an integrated contiuum of care for older people.
I wish to congratulate Anglican Aged Care for its commitment to the residents of Bishopspark and its other facilities here in Christchurch and beyond, and to its commitment to quality service provision.
Today is to be marked by a planting of a tree, another symbol of a new beginning and of growth. As the tree grows, it is my hope that its planting here today is remembered as that symbol of growth and strength.
So congratulations to everyone from Anglican Aged Care, the community and of course, the staff here at Bishopspark, who provide those quality services.