Manawa, the state-of-the-art hub for health research and education in Christchurch’s Health Precinct, held a short blessing ceremony this morning (6 July), ahead of opening its doors to health students, researchers, educators and technical staff in the coming weeks.
Manawa, the health research and education facility, is a collaboration between Christchurch’s health and tertiary education sectors, bringing together the Canterbury District Health Board (Canterbury DHB), Ara Institute of Canterbury and University of Canterbury (UC).
Staff from all three organisations attended the blessing, alongside local hapu leadership, with representatives from building developers New Urban Group, architects Sheppard & Rout, Southbase Construction and many other organisations involved in the project.
Canterbury DHB, Ara and UC will share the building to help create and train the health workforce of the future, in particular nurses, medical imaging specialists and midwifes as well as postgraduate health researchers and current health professionals, building on existing relationships.
On the doorstep of Christchurch Hospital and at the heart of the Te Papa Hauora/Health Precinct, Manawa will provide students with easy access to educational and clinical resources. It will enable clinicians and students to flow freely between the hospital and education and research spaces, and ensure knowledge transfer from and into the clinical settings.
“Manawa will allow our programmes and our people to grow and develop, and will deliver better outcomes for students, for patients, for health professionals and for the sustainable future of the health sector in Canterbury and New Zealand,” Ara Chief Executive Tony Gray says.
As well as lecture rooms and flexible learning spaces, tutorials and large group sessions, a simulation floor will enable large-scale simulations in real world healthcare environments and access to advanced clinical equipment that students would normally only see during placements.
The Health Research and Education partnership group worked with cultural consultant Te Pākura Ltd to engage with local iwi to cloak this facility with a bespoke cultural narrative, from which emerged the name and a suite of designs that speak to this narrative. The name ‘Manawa’ means heart, patience or breath on its own. It is, however, taken from the proverb ‘Manawa whenua; Manawa tangata’ which reminds us of the intimate link between the health of our fresh water (manawa whenua) and the health of people (manawa tangata).
“Manawa offers an exciting opportunity for the University of Canterbury to further its interdisciplinary research and education focused on the healthy wellbeing of our people. UC’s postgraduate students and researchers within our School of Health Sciences and those associated with the new UC Child Well-being Research Institute will particularly benefit from being at the heart of Te Papa Hauora Health precinct,” says Professor Gail Gillon, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the College of Education Health and Human Development at the University of Canterbury.
Different groups will begin their training in the new facilities during July and August. Ara midwifery and medical imaging students will begin classes on 16 July while nursing students will move to the new campus ready for term 4. An official opening is being planned for October.
Stella Ward, Canterbury DHB Executive Director of Allied Health, Scientific & Technical, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Lead of the Health Precinct Advisory Council says: “Prior to the Canterbury earthquakes, we had already identified challenges with the teaching and simulation facilities we had at that time, and the pressing need to provide for the evolving requirements of our health workforce into the future. The Health Precinct concept provided an amazing opportunity for us to quite literally come together in this fantastic, state-of-the-art facility as the new home for our region’s health education and research activities. We have had great working relationships with both Ara and UC and co-location will enhance these. We are looking forward to welcoming, and working with our new neighbours.”
Manawa – background information
Prior to the major earthquake events in Canterbury, the Canterbury DHB had already identified significant issues with teaching and simulation rooms not being fit for purpose and an increasing need for space to address future workforce requirements.
As a result of the quakes, 79% of training/education sessions were affected due to the loss of training rooms.
The earthquakes provided the Canterbury region with a unique opportunity to develop the Te Papa Hauora/Health Precinct directly adjacent to the hospital campus. This led to the new Manawa development, which sits within the designated land for the Health Precinct.
To meet the increased care needs of an ageing population, Business & Economic Research Ltd (BERL) predict an additional 2686 graduate nurses are required across New Zealand by 2035. This equates to 107 more nursing graduates per annum between 2010 and 2035.
Manawa is a six-storey building built to the very latest seismic building standards. It contains simulation suites including ward areas, a mock operating theatre and a home environment. It also features lecture rooms and flexible learning spaces for supervision, tutorials and large group sessions.
Manawa will provide full time training to 1800 Ara students at any one time and specialist training across 8000 Canterbury DHB staff. UC postgraduate researchers will occupy space on the fourth floor.
Ara and Canterbury DHB will share around 7,500m2 of space in the building.
Developers: New Urban Group and Huadu International
Building architects: Sheppard and Rout
Interior architects: Noordanus
Project management: The Building Intelligence Group
Cultural Consultant: Te Pākura Ltd
Healthcare training at Ara:
Ara Institute of Canterbury is home to one of New Zealand’s largest nursing and allied health departments with students across a range of programmes at diploma, degree, graduate and postgraduate levels. Nursing training has been offered at Ara (then Christchurch Technical Institute) since 1973.
Ara was created in 2016 when education providers CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic merged, bringing together two well-established organisations and over 200 years of collective experience and success. Ara is the Māori word for path or journey.
Ara has campuses in Christchurch City, Woolston, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, online/e-campus, community hubs in New Brighton, Bishopdale, Hornby and Rangiora, and now also Manawa.