Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital

  • Hon Dr David Clark

The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients.

Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It will be funded out of the $1.7 billion set aside in Budget 2019 for upgrading our hospitals and health facilities.

The project will create new critical and acute care facilities, including:

  • A new Emergency Department (twice as large as the current ED) and Intensive Care Unit
  • A rooftop helipad which will mean faster, safer patient transfers
  • Purpose built maternity facilities and delivery suite, a new postnatal ward and neonatal unit
  • Upgraded laboratory and radiology services
  • A dedicated tupapaku facility (morgue)

“Taranaki Base Hospital serves a population of 120,000 and last year its Emergency Department treated 33,600 - with tens-of-thousands more receiving inpatient, outpatient and other services. They deserve modern, fit for purposes facilities that support high quality services,” David Clark said.

“This Government is serious about the long-term challenge of rebuilding our neglected hospitals. In our first two Budgets we have invested twice as much into upgrading hospitals and health facilities as the previous Government managed in nine years.

“This much needed work at Taranaki Base Hospital will address the poor condition and seismic issues with the buildings that currently house the remainder of acute clinical services. 

“It will improve the resilience of the hospital so it can provide emergency clinical care after a major disaster. 

“The building will also target a 5-star Greenstar certification, reducing the energy, water and carbon footprint of the hospital.

“Most importantly, these upgraded facilities will improve how acute clinical services are delivered, ensuring high quality care and better health outcomes for the community. 

“I’m particular pleased that the new maternity ward will house a primary birthing unit, delivery suite, antenatal clinic and assessment unit – and that a postnatal ward will be collocated with the neonatal unit. That will be great news for new mothers and their babies. 

“The new, much larger Emergency Department will also mean there’s more capacity to manage acute demand. A new acute assessment unit will also help ensure people get the appropriate treatment and reduce hospital admissions.

“Final approval of this project is subject to the detailed business case. Work towards this next stage is already well advanced. Clinicians, user groups and local iwi will continue to be consulted to ensure we get the best outcomes for staff and patients.

“Today’s announcement means the people of Taranaki can be confident their hospital will continue to deliver the care they need into the future. 

“But there is much more to be done to improve hospital facilities around the country and I expect to make further investment announcements in coming days and weeks,” David Clark said.

Construction of the new East Wing at Taranaki Base Hospital is expected to begin by the end of 2020 (or early 2021) and it is expected to open in late 2023. Stage One of the hospital’s redevelopment, the $80 million Acute Services Building, was opened in July 2014.

NOTE: Today’s announcement is the latest in a growing list of investments this Government has made in our hospitals and other health facilities. Since Budget 2018 funding has been confirmed for projects up and down New Zealand including:

  • $275m for Auckland DHB to address significant infrastructure challenges at Auckland City Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre 
  • $200m (plus $42.1m from the DHB) for a new elective surgery unit at North Shore Hospital 
  • $80m for four projects at Counties Manukau DHB including recladding of the Kidz First Building and establishing a radiology hub at the Manukau SuperClinic
  • $79m for new specialist mental health facilities at Canterbury DHB’s Hillmorton campus
  • $45.6m for the new Wellington Children’s Hospital
  • $30m for a new integrated stroke unit at Auckland DHB
  • $24m for new endoscopy and cardiac care capacity at Northland DHB’s Whangarei Hospital 
  • $20m for new Buller Hospital Integrated Family Unit
  • $8.4m for Individualised Service Units at Capital and Coast DHB for our most high needs intellectual disability and mental health patients 
  • $7.1m for the Phase 2 redevelopment at Bay of Islands Hospital
  • $15-20m for new in-patient mental health and addiction unit at Hauora Tairāwhiti Gisborne Hospital

In addition, good progress is being made on the Dunedin Hospital rebuild project and Budget 2019 included a ring-fenced contingency to fund the work.