The first peritoneal dialysis in New Zealand was undertaken at Wellington Hospital in 1954 by Neil Turnbull. He was a Medical Registrar at the time. In 1958, J Verney Cable, Resident Physician at Wellington Hospital, undertook the first haemodialysis in Australasia.
For a few years thereafter, a number of patients were referred to Wellington Hospital from other centres for haemodialysis. By 1964, Renal Units were established in the four main centres. In Wellington, the Renal Unit was headed by Verney Cable with J D McCreanor as assistant.
In 1966, Bruce Morrison was appointed Visiting Renal Physician. The same year saw the appointment of Donald Urquhart-Hay as Urologist. By 1968, MOH approval was received to set up a chronic renal dialysis unit in Wellington. Part of Ward 22 in the Seddon Block was adapted for this purpose and three Kolff machines were installed.
That same year Wellington Hospital received approval to host New Zealand's second renal transplantation unit. Don Urqhuart-Hay and John McIlwaine became the initial renal transplantation surgeons. The first transplant at Wellington Hospital was performed on 2 Apr 1969.
In 1974, Peter Hatfield was appointed full-time Renal Physician. The following year saw the opening of the Home Haemodialysis Unit at 62 Owen St. The first academic renal post was established in 1976, with Joe McEvoy appointed. However, he resigned after just two years.
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) was established in 1979; in conjunction with Melbourne, this was the first use of this treatment modality in Australasia. Jim Neale was appointed Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Nephrologist in 1980. That same year, a CAPD Training Unit was established at 38 Owen St.
Renal inpatients and the hospital haemodialysis unit were transferred from the Seddon Block (Ward 22) to the Ward Support Block (Ward 40) in 1984, and the Seddon Block was demolished.