​​​​​​​Benefactor’s donation a boost for mental health


A large donation from Wellington property developer and philanthropist Mark Dunajtschik for a new mental health unit at Hutt Hospital is being welcomed by Health Minister Andrew Little.

“The Government committed to replacing Te Whare Ahuru, the hospital’s 24-bed acute mental health unit, with a modern facility of the same size,” Andrew Little said.

“Mr Dunajtschik’s generous offer to donate $40 million to $50 million, subject to final design of the project, means it can be expanded to a 34-bed unit,” Andrew Little said.

“We can all be incredibly grateful for the extraordinary philanthropy of Mr Dunajtschik, who made New Zealand his home many years ago, has succeeded in business, and now wishes to give back to this country.

“I am glad to have had the opportunity to personally thank him for this donation and for the $50 million he has already donated towards a new children’s hospital for Wellington.

“This latest contribution will benefit not only the Wellington region, but will also have knock-on benefits for the rest of the country because the Government funding that was intended for the Hutt Valley unit can go into other projects.

“This Government has commissioned a total of $578 million worth of mental health rebuilds around the country, with planning well-advanced for each. We’ve also allocated $87 million to grow the mental health workforce, on top of creating more than 900 new frontline roles currently funded for GP and community clinics,” Andrew Little said.

Planning for the new Hutt Valley unit, to be called the Mark Dunajtschik Mental Health Centre, is well advanced. The project is being managed by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.