Published Friday 30 Sep 2022

Dawn (Friday 30 September 2022) marked the official opening of the Wellington region’s new Child Heath Service and hospital – Te Wao Nui - that has been built with the wellbeing of tamariki, rangatahi and whānau at its heart.

Image L-R: Minister for Health, Andrew Little; Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro; philanthropists Dorothy Spotswood and Mark Dunajtschik. 

Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley, Mana Whenua, with the Wellington Hospitals Foundation welcomed the Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro, Minister for Health, Andrew Little, philanthropists Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood, and other key donors and guests to celebrate one of the most significant capital investment projects for Child Health in Australasia.

Governor-General, Dame Cindy Kiro invited Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood to join her in unveiling the plaque which officially opened the “Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood building, which Te Wao Nui Child Health Service and hospital is housed. 

“Our teams are excited to be working in a purpose-built facility which brings together all child health services which were previously located in different parts of the Wellington Regional Hospital, under one roof for the first time,” said interim District Director, Sarah Jackson.  “This will improve the clinical collaboration and communication across an important part of New Zealand’s specialist children’s hospital network.”

“Most importantly visiting Te Wao Nui will be a better experience for young people and their families. Often hospital visits and stay can be anxious and worrying for everyone, so being able to provide patients and their families with more privacy in larger, brighter rooms with pull down beds and private toilets helps make it that less stressful. Most importantly it can help speed up children’s recovery from illness or surgery.

Existing child hospital and outpatient services will be provided in the hospital, allowing for greater clinical collaboration and communication across an important part of New Zealand's specialist children's hospital network.

Children requiring emergency care, intensive care, radiology, surgery and other specialist services will continue to receive this care in the main Wellington Regional Hospital. 

Chair of the Wellington Hospitals Foundation Bill Day said, “It was a privilege to have introduce Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood to the Capital and Coast District Health Board with an idea of a new children’s hospital. This is a dream that has turned into a reality. It is also important to acknowledge the thousands of small and major donors from the wider Wellington region who have believed in a new children’s hospital and have contributed so magnificently with $10 million.”

Find out more about Te Wao Nui.