After years of planning and hard work, it was a great pleasure to formally open the Harley Gray Building recently and to welcome Prof. Harley Gray himself back to Middlemore Hospital. As many of you will know, he formerly worked at Middlemore and is regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading Orthopaedic Surgeons. As such, I was delighted to invite him and his family back to open this magnificent building which has been named in his honour.
We were also thrilled to welcome the Minister of Health, the Honourable Tony Ryall, to the building’s opening. When I started to introduce the Minister before his speech, I was reminded of my first meeting with him some six years ago. I had travelled down to his constituency offices in Te Puke to introduce myself as he was then about to become the Minister of Health. One of the first questions he asked me was whether our intended new building at Middlemore was going to be good investment for the Government.
Six years later, as the Minister comes to the end of his term, it was fitting that he was able to come and open the Harley Gray Building and see for himself what we had spoken about all those years ago. I’m pleased to report that everybody, including the Minister, was hugely impressed with the building’s high quality and the exemplar facilities it will continue providing the South Auckland community for years to come.
Now that it is officially opened, I’d like to express a huge thank you to the designers, the builders and our Facilities Team, which has tirelessly worked on this project for many years. What you have achieved is nothing short of extraordinary. It still boggles my mind to think that the building is the size of five rugby fields and I can only imagine the work required to bring it to fruition to the high standard that you have. Thank you.
All this talk of coming full circle with the Minister reminds me that it is Easter, a time for reflection and rebirth for many. It’s quite sobering to be writing this blog in the middle of a ferocious storm which has seen much of Auckland flooded and battered by near gale force winds. It tells me that winter is coming and that with Easter upon us, April is almost over. If you haven’t done so already, please take the opportunity to get immunised against the flu. This is available free for staff and will help protect yourself, your family and our patients in the coming months.
Finally, my special thanks to everyone who is working through these public holidays to keep our services running. As ever, your hard work and commitment is hugely appreciated.
Happy Easter to all,