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The Latest News - Fresh from the TerraNova Group

We like to share and celebrate the stories and successes at each of our homes with you. Please browse the articles below for the latest happenings within TerraNova.


TerraNova, Riverleigh retains its 3 year Certification

We are delighted that Riverleigh has again been awarded another 3 year certification and achieved 100% in all areas. Congratulations to our Riverleigh team in Lower Hutt. All TerraNova Homes and Care facilities are regularly audited by independent auditors against the NZ Health and Disability Standards. These care standards are monitored by the Ministry of Health and the audits are available for view on the Ministry of Health- HealthCERT  web site.

November - TerraNova Tongariro Hikoi

Our team of staff completed the gruelling Tongariro trial - and all for a great cause. 
The TerraNova Tongariro Hikoi is our flagship event, with 40 staff across TerraNova having volunteered to brave the elements and cross mighty mount Tongariro. We did the walk for a variety of great reasons, including fundraising for New Zealand Hospice, as well as team building, wellness, and cultural education. 

Together we raised over $10,000 for five local New Zealand Hospices. The Hospice is a valuable partner for us as we share education, resources, and expertise. 
We will be splitting the total amount of money raised between five Hospices in the North Island.  


October - Our Team Gets into the Spring Spirit 

It's been a very busy time for our residents and activities team, as there plenty events to celebrate and friends to meet. 

The Monte Vista 60's night was our stand-out event in September and huge success, with residents, families, staff, and volunteers all getting their groove on.

Our resident guitarist Warren accompanied our guest singer through some psychedelic hits from the San Francisco counter-culture era.

These events are possible with the help of the wonderful group of loyal volunteers we have here at Monte Vista. Feel free at any time to drop in and see what we're up to. 

September 2015 - Exceptional Training at Monte Vista

Our superstar team of staff have been exceptionally busy with training and education.

While Monte Vista has an excellent record of delivering high quality care, our residents can have even more confidence in our care through our excellent track record of supporting staff through training. 

A special congratulations to Rochelle Walker who completed her Health, Disability, and Aged Support Core Competencies (level 3).

A further congratulations to Heather MacMillan, Mary Keane,April German, Shona Richardson, Heather MacMillan, and Jennifer Concepcion and who completed Fundamentals of Palliative Care Training with Lake Taupo Hospice. 

And finally a special mention to our long serving senior caregiver Mary Keane, who is enrolled and studying towards becoming a registered nurse. 

Well done to the team, and thanks to our training partners who make these qualifications possible. 


August 2015 - Monte Vista Awarded 4 Year Certification

We are exceptionally proud that Monte Vista Residential Care has received the highest level of residential care certification possible from the Ministry of Health. 
An independent audit carried out in May 2015 has confirmed that Monte Vista is a leading care facility in New Zealand. The audit is carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Health, and is designed to critically inspect every area of our care.
Only 12% of residential care facilities in New Zealand operate at this very high level of care, with Monte Vista being the 3rd TerraNova facility currently holding this certification. With these results, you can have utmost confidence that our residents are in safe hands. 

Come visit Monte Vista to see our difference for yourself.

July 2015 - Introducing TerraNova Life Series

There's a new splash of colour in our homes 

We are excited to launch TerraNova Life Series, which is an art project exclusive to TerraNova. These framed images reflect life’s journey, from good times to the bittersweet, and are placed around the home to  promote discussion and reflection.

Part of our care philosophy is to provide hotel quality environments and services. We believe thoughtful artwork and stimulating environments are an integral part of providing this service. 

Life Series is already installed in some of our homes, with others being installed in August. 
May 2015 - 10 Years a Treat for Our Local Hero
Kiwis are renowned for their selfless generosity and Nick Ursin is one who is humbly ‘paying it forward’, and has done so for the past decade.

For 10 years now Riverleigh has celebrated their annual family barbecue in February in place of a Christmas party because staff of Riverleigh understand how busy families are in December. 

When Nick was asked by his good pal Keith O’Riley 10 years ago if he would help cook the barbie, he humbly accepted, and has continued to cook the barbecue every year since, making Nick an honorary guest at the home’s annual celebrations. 

 “Keith’s mum was a resident at Riverleigh and he also had a father n’ law residing there. That’s how he ended up volunteering to cook the barbeque for the home’s annual do. He asked me if I’d help him and I said yeah sure why not!?”

“That’s just what you do for your pals, you know!? You help them if they ask for help!”

“Keith and I were invited to come back and cook the barbeque every year. Unfortunately his mum passed away and then later his father n’ law. We continued to come back and cook the barbeque because it just felt right. Keith too passed away about three years ago but I continued to come back and do the barbeque, and just like him, I asked a pal if he would help me so my mate Peter Chambers is on board now.”

Born and bred in the Lower Hutt, Nick considers himself a Marist Brothers and Hutt Valley old boy.

The father of two is extremely proud of his children, daughter Stephanie who lives in Australia and son Michael Ursin, top golfer for the Wellington Representative Team.

“While I have no family ties to Riverleigh, I believe I continue to come back and help because family is very important to me.”

“I know this is a gathering and celebration for the residents and their families, so it’s nice to be part of something special.”
Nick (left) working the barbecue with the late and
beloved Keith

Our manager, Kaye (right), addresses the crowd 
May 2015 - Monte Vista Awards Prize at IronKidz
We are tremendously proud to have sponsored a trophy at the 15th annual IronKidz competition.  

Every year the young generation of our town gather to compete in IronKidz. The whole town gets involved, and our residents usually have a grandchild (or two) in the race. 

In support of this great event we are proud to have created a new award for one competitor who stood out, had a great attititude, and was a great team player. 

This year the winner was Cuda Tawhai, who displayed all the hallmarks of great sportsmanship. Along with a trophy, Cuda received a certificate and voucher. 

Well done Cuda for showing the Monte Vista spirit!
May 2015 - A Girls' Adventure Across Tongariro Crossing
Third time lucky is how Brittany House facility manager Fay Diskin was feeling when she reached the entrance to Mount Tongariro’s Alpine Crossing.

The Tongariro Crossing is regularly called the best day walk in New Zealand, and after two previous attempts to experience the extraordinary volcanic landscape, Fay can now tick the crossing off her bucket list.

“I have attempted to do the Tongariro crossing twice before but the first time the mountain was snowed out and the second time, it was rained out.”

Fay, with her two daughters Lauretta and Jenny decided they would have a girls’ weekend in Taupo and use the opportunity to not only conquer the rugged Tongariro terrain, but also to bond.

“One of the most exciting aspects of hiking across Mt Tongariro was being able to do it with Lauretta and Jenny.”

“They both live in completely different area codes, Lauretta on Waiheke Island and Jenny living in France, it was very special for us to be doing the crossing together, but a little unfortunate my youngest daughter could not be with us due to work commitments.”

“We stayed in Taupo for the weekend and since Jenny is a professional chef working on a boat in France, we were very lucky to enjoy some delicious food over the weekend.”

The length of the journey across Mt Tongariro is dependent on the route, weather conditions, pace and what the walkers aim to achieve.

“It took the girls and me about seven hours to complete our journey but we just took our time soaking up the stunning panoramic views.”

“Lauretta is a professional photographer so we especially took our time by stopping to capture lots of memories.”

“It was truly an amazing experience. On the day we did the Crossing, there was a blanket of mist and so in parts of our journey we couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of us. This was both terrifying and also exhilarating.”

“In some parts where the mist had lifted we witnessed a spectacle of steaming craters and neon-bright lakes.”

“The best experience on the journey was definitely walking across the red crater. I felt as though I was walking on the moon.”

After our hike, we went to the popular Taupo DeBretts’ hot pools for a soak which was an incredible end to our adventurous day.


February 2015 - Monte Vista an Ideal Retreat for Earthquake Survivor

Brian Burns found comfort and a new home in one of the terraces at Monte Vista Residential Care after his home was destroyed in the Canterbury earthquakes.

Brian, 91, moved to Taupo to live with his daughter four years ago after the earthquakes and only lived there a short while before realising he needed his own space.

The father of three then moved to Monte Vista Residential Care - a one-stop-shop care facility - housing a range of services on one property.

“I chose to move to this care facility because I have the freedom to live independently in my terrace and if my health declines and I need to move into hospital care, I can do so easily because Monte Vista offers hospital care as well!”

The Monte Vista terraces are designed to encourage independent living among the elderly, with a generous living area and space for dining; the self-contained homes offer good lifestyle among picturesque views in Taupo.

Heather Mac Millan, Clinical Coordinator at Monte Vista says the terraces are popular among the elderly for a number of reasons, particularly because they are leased under rental agreements only. 

“This allows potential tenants a certain amount of flexibility as needs and life circumstances change.” 

“The availability of sharing prepared meals in the dining room of the residential care is also great and it provides an opportunity for the residents to mingle, in both residential care and the terraces.

Brian has always lived a very busy and fulfilling life. An engineer by trade, he worked as a Regional Operations Manager for Caltex, a ship’s engineer for a merchant fleet, and then went on to be an engineer for a freezing works company before retiring.

“It was difficult leaving my home in Christchurch because that’s all I knew. But my wife Dorothy passed away 16 years ago so there was nothing more for me to remain there.”

“I moved with my daughter in Taupo a short while before looking for some place of my own because of course, my daughter needed her own space as well so I was happy with the decision.”

“However, I still couldn’t help but feel upset and disorientated about the move.”


December 2014 - Staying on Top of Training

It’s a special day for Felicity Cruickshank and Rozeleen Lata Nandan, caregivers at Monte Vista Residential Care.
Felicity and Rozeleen successfully completed the Fundamentals of Palliative Care education package, delivered by Lake Taupo Hospice. 

This education has given them both the tools necessary to deliver a more sophisticated type of care at this all important time in a person’s life, over and above general caregiving skills

As caregivers, their role is to tend to the day-to-day needs of elderly residents at Monte Vista, a role that both greatly rewards and challenges them on a daily basis.

Felicity says when a person reaches this critical phase of life it is naturally a very sensitive time for them, as well as for family and friends.

“Palliative care is a specific type of care provided at this time of life, and when provided effectively, can make a real positive difference to those involved,” she says.

 “With my new-found knowledge, I am better able to care for residents and their families throughout this time.”

“I have learnt so much and the course has opened my eyes to so many aspects I may not have considered as carefully beforehand, such as cultural awareness, religion, and understanding expectations of families.”

Felicity and Rozeleen are two of four staff at Monte Vista Residential Care who now has this level of expertise, with four staff on their journey towards getting their certification.

According to Lake Taupo Hospice, Monte Vista is the facility with the highest uptake of this offered education package in Taupo, since its inception in 2012.

Clinical Coordinator at Monte Vista, Heather MacMillan, says the course encourages staff to view palliative care from a holistic perspective, paying attention not only to the physical needs, but the individual emotional, intellectual, spiritual, family and psychological needs of those entering this stage of life.”

“They develop a more comprehensive understanding of the care required at this time for residents and their families. Education in communication skills around this has been of real value to the care team. The sessions also allow staff to explore their feelings and coping strategies as well.”

“It’s about developing one’s sense of compassion and awareness around the sensitivities involved with palliative care. It can mean the difference between standard care, and exceptional care for the person and their families,” Heather says.

A Fundamentals of Palliative Care certificate was presented to Felicity and Rozeleen by Janine Colpman-King, educator at the Lake Taupo Hospice on Thursday.

Janine says she is happy to acknowledge Monte Vista’s commitment to education and palliative care education in particular.


November 2014 - New Physio Room 

The physio program at Brittany House is proving to be a great success with improving mobility, decreasing falls, and rehabilitation, and now we’re even more excited about the newly created physio room in the home.

Jenny Hollyman, physiotherapy assistant at Brittany House, loves assisting with physio and is now especially happy about the purpose-built room which is already enhancing the physio program she delivers.

Jenny started as a caregiver at Brittany House Resi­dential Care almost four years ago before recently rising to the role of physio assistant. For Jenny, it’s a very exciting change and she’s embracing every aspect, especially more time working one-on-one with the residents.

“I have found my passion because I love helping our residents, and especially helping them mobilise,” she says.

Jenny was able to assume the position of physio assistant when Jane, the physiotherapist at Brittany House started showing her the ropes.

“I think it’s great we now have a physio room specifically designed for our residents because it is safer and just more convenient for them. Previously, we would provide physio within their room which wasn't ideal. With the new physio room now off the hub of the home, it’s more easily accessible, it’s cosier and warmer and it’s purpose-built for physio services.”

Darcy, resident at Brittany House Residential Care says without physiotherapy, he wouldn’t be mobile and feels stronger with doing the exercises.

“Coming to physio is definitely the highlight of my day. I can walk a lot more with my walker after doing the exercises that Jenny helps me with not only is it assisting me physically, but I feel it is doing wonders for my mental health as well. I have a better, more positive outlook on life and I’m truly grateful!”
We are proud to help advance our staff, and develop more expertise into aged care through internal promotion, especially when it benefits our residents.

Well done Jane, Jenny, and Brittany House!


June 2014 - Celebrating 100 Years

One of our residents at Brittany House recently celebrated their centennial in style.

Receiving a letter from the Queen, the Prime Minister, and a sundry of other dignitaries is all in a day's work for Bertie. We have been fortunate to care for Bertie for many years now, and were absolutely delighted to help him celebrate this milestone.
Below: Brittany House Manager, Fay Diskin, with a letter from the Queen.

May 2014 - Collection for Hospice Week

Our team at Riverleigh got behind Hospice Appeal week and volunteered their time for collecting donations.

April 2014 - TerraNova’s IT Provider Wins Big

We would like to extend our congratulations to OneNet, who won Microsoft’s Hosting Partner of the Year Award for 2013.
In late 2012 TerraNova formulated a vision for what IT should accomplish in a residential care setting – to provide seamless access to all resources needed to provide excellent care, provide secure storage and retrieval of resident information, and to be a tool for collaboration.
To get us started on the journey of making this vision a reality, we approached OneNet (a nimble Auckland-based cloud computing host) to roll out the foundation of our future IT needs across all our branches, and to provide ongoing support for our cloud-based network.
 OneNet Host
Using their outstanding work with TerraNova as an example, OneNet’s submission into the Microsoft Hosting Partner Awards won them the accolade as the provider of choice for 2013, proving that we really do have a world-class IT system keeping residents safe in our homes, allowing us to save time and to do more of what we do best – to provide excellent care.
Congratulations OneNet and we look forward to our continued implementation of IT tools to help us provide excellent care.
Find out more about OneNet HERE

March 2014 - Recognizing Amazing Service

We are used to seeing amazing staff in our homes, caring with dedication and commitment to residents as if they looking after their own family. Recently, the lifetime commitment to caring of two exceptional staff members were celebrated at Brittany House, with Gail and Florence commemorating 36 years of service.
A huge thank you on behalf of TerraNova to Gail and Florence - your service inspires us to keep on providing great care to our residents!

February 2014 - Riverleigh Staff Begins Healthy Eating Programme

Our team at Riverleigh have decided to make positive lifestyle changes through their new Healthy Eating Programme. They are equipped with booklets outlining the main aspects of a healthy diet, and will be recording their food choices for  the next month to see how well they do. Good luck!

December 2013 - Riverleigh Donation Drive for Philippines

The staff of Riverleigh held a donation drive for the typhoon victims in the Philippines where two of our staff originated. A total amount of $602.00 was raised out of the generosity of fellow staff, residents, family, and friends. Thank you so much for your support!

October 2013 - Monte Vista Walks for Cancer

The team at Monte Vista strapped on our walking shoes in support of Cancer Awareness.

Residents, families, and staff from Monte Vista donned their pinkest outfits and braved the elements to complete this year’s Cancer Walk. We completed the 1.5 km walk and sang songs to keep our spirits high.

We love getting our Monte Vista family out into the community, and look forward to seeing you at more community events!


Our Homes

Learn more about how our three unique rest homes can provide the perfect care for you


“We have the utmost respect for the tireless effort put in by all the staff on a daily basis”
- Monica’s family



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