New hospital opens for Wellington children

A new children’s hospital that officially opened in Wellington this morning offers the region’s children top-quality health care in one place, Health Minister Andrew Little says.

Te Wao Nui has been built with a $53 million contribution from benefactors Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood, with the Government contributing another $53 million and $10 million being raised by the Wellington Hospitals Foundation.

“Mr Dunajtschik and Miss Spotswood have shown extraordinary generosity,” Andrew Little said this morning at the opening of the children’s hospital, which is alongside Wellington Regional Hospital in Newtown.

“For the first time, child-health services in Wellington will be under one roof. The children who are treated here will be able to recover in private, light, self-contained, temperature-controlled rooms, with their own ensuites.

“Importantly, they’ll have room to have someone they know and trust stay with them overnight, so they can sleep better and recover more easily.

“And the clinical teams looking after them will find it easier to collaborate and provide better care.”

Andrew Little joined Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson, MPs Greg O’Connor, Paul Eagle and Harete Hipango, and Wellington Mayor Andy Foster and Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy at this morning’s opening of Te Wao Nui.

“Te Wao Nui is one of only five hospitals in New Zealand that can provide specialist paediatric surgery, and will service children from the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Marlborough, as well as Wellington,” Andrew Little said.

The hospital has 50 inpatient beds and another 101 outpatient beds, and will provide care for babies and children up to the age of 16.

The Government is currently committed to $7 billion worth of new health infrastructure, including new hospitals, to make sure New Zealanders get the health care they need.

Mark Dunajtschik is also funding a new 34-bed mental health unit at Hutt Hospital.