Diabetes Otago premises in Frederick St, Dunedin. Photo by
Diabetes Otago faces an uncertain future at its Frederick
St base, in Dunedin, as it works through the conditions of a
"divorce" from the Heart Foundation.
Diabetes Otago president Mervyn Wilson said the two charities
jointly owned the building, which the Heart Foundation left a
few weeks ago.
The foundation's new Hanover St base is to be officially
Although the building needed strengthening, costing about
$250,000, it was safe to occupy, and work was not needed
immediately, Mr Wilson said.
The engineer's assessment was prompted by a crack that
appeared late last year. Both parties initially decided to
leave, but Diabetes Otago had been unable to secure a
premises sufficiently close to Dunedin Hospital. Being close
to the hospital was crucial.
Mr Wilson said Diabetes Otago wanted to investigate its
options, including a long-term plan to fund the strengthening
work, and buying the foundation's share.
However, it needed a reasonable timeframe to decide the best
way forward, something he hoped to secure today when he meets
Auckland-based Heart Foundation chief executive Tony Duncan,
who is in Dunedin for the official opening.
The foundation wanted the building sold soon to realise its
equity, Mr Wilson said.
In any "divorce", communication was vital, and this had been
somewhat lacking, Mr Wilson said. The two charities bought
the building together to co-occupy in 1988.
Heart Foundation health promotion co-ordinator Jo Arthur said
the Frederick St building would have no insurance cover in
the event of an earthquake.
Because of the structural and insurance issues, the Heart
Foundation found new premises, and its chief executive would
work through a process with Diabetes Otago, she said.