Town infuriated by treatment of historic hospital

Town infuriated by treatment of historic hospital

Owning your quarter acre is part of the Kiwi dream.

But what if that quarter acre, or five acres in this instance, was once a prized community possession?

In Patea, a stoush is reaching boiling point over the historic hospital.

A local man bought the 19th century property and the community thought he was going to demolish it.

But instead, it has been run into the ground and the town is infuriated.

In 1890, the hospital was a beacon of quality care. But fast forward to today, the maternity grounds are now a literal pigsty and the surgery area has become a storage place for timber.

You may look at the property and think it is a bunch of dilapidated buildings, but for many the site means much more.

"It's so sad. I've snuck in there a couple of times, I used to just stand there and cry because it's so sad," says former nurse aid Harriet Rie.

Ms Rie is among hundreds of women who worked at the hospital and seeing it savaged is distressing for them.

Local council board chairman Brian Rook says the hospital is their history; there are memories and a lot of mana.

But who's to blame?

Story went to speak to owner Basil Anderson and to members of the community who are angered by the state of Patea Hospital.

Watch the video for the full Story report.