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Ata marie, Its great news! We now own our building as of Friday 31st May. Finally we can attend to its dilapidated state and clean it up. It has been a very, very stressful time this last year as I tried to buy the building. For the last five months we have been on a month to month lease, as the trustees of our previous landlord's estate refused to renew our lease or attend to any maintenance, including some major ones causing Health and Safety issues for our staff. So we have managed to avoid a big court battle, and because of all the expensive reports from engineers, building inspectors and valuers we had to get because of their approach to selling the building, we have a clear idea of what work has to be done and a schedule for this.

The hardest issue is replacing the leaking roof which will commence in July. I know this isn't the best month to do it, and we really hoped we would be doing it in the drier weather earlier in the year. At least with us in charge, it can be staged so we can work through its replacement with coloured steel.

Both Dr Mick and myself may have to be out of our surgeries [for a week or two at the most at different times], and there will be noise but we expect this to be manageable. In Spring or even early summer we have to totally dig up the front courtyard and resurface it over a new base layer to get rid of the lake that forms in heavy rain and the pothole across the entrance way. No more wet ankles getting out of cars – yay!

At the same time we will totally redo our sewerage outlets to the main sewerage out on East St which blocks up at least monthly and is not due to the roots of the Totara tree as our previous landlord claimed repeatedly as he tried to get me to support him at the Council to allow it to be cut down. [There is a design fault under the building, and the water soaking through the courtyard pavers and subsequent large pothole caused the collapse of the pipe outlet and its recent replacement by Watercare who mistakingly thought it was a connection problem of their making, is starting to crack too].

Fences and signs need cleaning up and painting, roller doors need replacing and after Christmas we can paint outside and inside [at weekends] finally.

To our patients, I want to say a big thank you for sticking with us thoughout this difficult time. It has been awful. I know with sleepless nights I have not been at my best ['very grumpy' says my husband], but I could not help but worry about our staff, what would they do, and where would our patients go, if we had to close down.

I want to thank our wonderful Practice Manager, Meriana Te Tuhi who has been there every step of the way with me, always supportive and always coping with all the extra work this has generated.

But that is behind us now, the rainbow is in the sky and we do more than mend, we build and get better.

Arohanui, Jacqueline



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