Our history

We began with a dream and
an empty building.
A dream of helping our patients to live until they died;
of helping those who cared for them
to live until they died;
of helping those who cared for them to find their hidden strengths,
to feel that they were not alone,
and to gather and hold close the memories
that they would treasure in the years to come;
a dream that one day,
this kind of care would be part of normal life,
wherever and whenever it was needed

Extract from “Cranford Your Hospice, The First Twenty-Five Years”

Laying the foundations for the first hospice in Hawke’s Bay

The story of Cranford Hospice begins over 40 years ago in 1977 when Mr. Jack Mackie, then Director of Presbyterian Social Services Association (known today as Presbyterian Support East Coast, PSEC) committed himself to work towards the goal of achieving a hospice for Hawke’s Bay after reading “On Death and Dying” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

The opportunity came about not too long after to purchase Cranford Hospital from the Royston Trust Board, and work got underway to bring the whole community on board. Local history tells us that the name “Cranford” was chosen through a competition run by the Royston Trust Board.  It was successfully submitted to the competition by Mrs. Veronica Robertson.

Little was known or understood about hospice at that time, so Mr. Mackie started by seeking and accepting invitations to speak to any and every group possible.

“The response of the community has been without precedent, and the successive financial hurdles encountered have been overcome through the generosity and appreciation of the Hawke’s Bay community… Cranford has become all that one could have wished for, and more. In fact, it is a dream come true.” Mr. Mackie.

Cranford Hospice opened its doors to patients on the 8th of August 1982, the fourth hospice in New Zealand.

Opening Ceremony

For the Opening Ceremony, over 400 people gathered in the closed off block of King Street to hear His Excellency the Governor General Sir David Beattie to officially open the Hospice on the 11th of December 1982 and agree to become its Patron. The Hastings Citizens’ Brass band played, and the occasion thanked many whose contact with the hospice had been deeply personal.

“Coming of Age”

Thirty-five years later three entities – Presbyterian Support East Coast, the Cranford Hospice Foundation and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board – came together for the benefit of our community and paved the way for Cranford Hospice to step into independence.

Cranford Hospice was gifted to the community by PSEC on 1 July 2017 and since then has been an independent charity known as the Cranford Hospice Trust.