In September 2016 Bill Day, the Chair of Wellington Hospitals Foundation (Capital and Coasts Hospitals official Charity) approached Wellington property developer and philanthropist, Mark Dunajtschik with an idea of Mr Dunajtschik supporting a new children's hospital to the value of $50 million. After considerable discreet discussions the government and Capital Coast District Health Board agreed to warmly accept Mr Dunajtschik proposal. On 14 July 2017 the then Prime minister Mr Bill English publicly announced that Mr Dunajtschik would not only donate a new hospital but he would build it and then donate the hospital to the public of Wellington region. This was a unique form of philanthropy.
At the media announcement Mr Dunajtschik explained why Wellington Hospitals Foundation proposal appealed to him in his quote
“My philosophy is people that are born with a healthy body and mind can look after themselves and those unfortunate to be born with, or suffering ill health need our help.“
- Mark Dunajtschik
In addition to Mr Dunajtschik's proposal the Wellington Hospital Foundation agreed to raise $6million from the community to equip and fit out the new hospital. This request to the Foundation was later increased to $10million.
The budgeted costs for the new 60 bed stand-alone children's hospital was as follows:
1. Mr Dunajtschik donation $50 million
2. Wellington Hospitals Foundation $10 million
3. Capital & Coast & Government $24 million
4. Govt (Drainage and demolitions) $21 million
The total being $105 million
John Tait - Chief Medical Officer at the time said that "building a new Regional Children's Hospital has given us the opportunity to fully review and introduce a new model of care for our young patients"
The new stand-alone hospital, joined to the main Regional Hospital by a "sky walk", is 7,500 sq.mtrs over three floors. There is to be one floor for surgical patients and one floor for medical patients. The ground floor will encompass day patients and many of the other paediatric services that are currently spread around the hospital campus. Statistics reveal that there are 87,000 children's visits to Wellington Regional Children's Hospital each year (many of these are follow-up visits). Doctors and Nurses are very excited at this change for children's health. In 1912 the community assisted in funding the very first children's hospital in New Zealand and here we are again over 100 years later the community are ensuring a new fit for purpose children's hospital for our young citizens of our region.
Weta Workshop have also created some wonderful and magical designs for the insides of the new hospital and it is Wellington Hospitals Foundation plan to ensure the hospital is equipped with the most modern equipment.
By early 2020, construction of the new hospital was well underway.
By early March, 2020, a substantial portion of the external cladding is in place. (This view from Adelaide Road)
The opening of the new Wellington Children's Hospital - Te Wao Nui - is planned for 2022.
The new Regional Children's Hospital will contain the most modern facilities for the care of sick children. Services are provided over three floors.
Level Two - on 31 March, 2022 - provides: Patient Consult Rooms, a Gymnasium, outside Playscape Rehabilitation area, a Cafe, an Audiology Suite, Child Development Services and the "Tree of Life".
Level 3 - Taumata 3 - provides Patient Rooms with Ensuites, Whanau/Family Rooms, the Link Bridge to the Regional Hospital, Play Therapy spaces and the "Tree of Life"
Level 4 - Taumata 4 - provides Patient Rooms with Ensuites, Whanau/Family rooms, Play Therapy spaces and the top of the "Tree of Life" (Canopy)
By late January 2022, construction was nearing completion. This photograph shows at left the elevated corridor connecting the new hospital to the main Regional Hospital building.
The new hospital was officially handed over to CCDHB by Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood on 31 March, 2022.
The DHB will now fit out the hospital before it opens to the public later in 2022.