Published Wednesday 19 Oct 2022

Te Wao Nui – Wellington’s new regional child health services and hospital – welcomed their first patients this week.

Te Wao Nui – Wellington’s new regional child health services and hospital – welcomed their first patients this week.

Young people and whānau began visiting level 2 for their outpatient appointments on Monday (17 October). This morning eight patients staying in Ward 2 of the old children’s hospital moved to their new lighter, larger and private rooms on the level 3 Kōwhai Ward.

Ten year-old Leyla and her mum Helen were our first patient/whānau who Tiaki welcomed into Te Wao Nui – a moment Leyla said she had been waiting a long time for.

“It’s amazing,” Leyla said. “I’ve been waiting for this for a really long time and I’m just excited to be here. I thought it would be like the old hospital, but nah it’s much nicer and bigger and I like how they have added the wood around the rooms. It’s amazing.”Leyla being shown to her new room

The new rooms mean Leyla and Helen’s hospital stays will become more relaxing due to the larger, quieter rooms, which include a large bathroom, pop out beds for whānau to sleep on, and fantastic views across Newtown towards the city. There are also areas around the floor where they can relax or hang out with friends and family who may be visiting.   

“We stay in hospital at least four times a year for two weeks each at a time so Leyla can receive treatment for cystic fibrosis. So having this much lighter, relaxing, but bigger comfortable space makes a huge difference,” Helen said.

“It’s just an incredible facility and something the kids really deserve.”

After many years in the making Te Wao Nui Senior Project Officer Charlotte Stanczuk was excited to see Te Wao Nui ready to go.

“This is amazing and I am utterly excited,” she said.

“I’ve been part of the project since the birth of it and the amazing thing about Te Wao Nui is that it’s been built from a community patient perspective. [Family of patients] have a lot of challenges that they face coming into a hospital and I think this facility will make an unplanned experience a lot better.”

Charge Nurse Manager Lynne Cowley found it difficult to contain her excitement as patients were welcomed into Te Wao Nui.

“The move into Te Wao Nui for our families is a very big moment. It is such an exciting time right now where we get to move our first patients over and they get to experience a purpose-built hospital where every room and every decision has been carefully considered for them.

“Having all of the child health services under one roof in one building is going to be great for the families, but for staff it will also give them the opportunity to connect and collaborate together which will help us work more efficiently.”

The Medical Children’s Ward and Wahi Tamariki (ED Paediatrics) on Ward two in the Clinical Services Block will remain there, until the building works on level four of Te Wao Nui are completed in 2023.

People can access Te Wao Nui through the main entrance, or from the main Wellington Regional Hospital by going to the Atrium and taking the escalator or lifts by reception to level 3, and follow the signs to the link bridge that will take them onto level 3 of Te Wao Nui.

Learn more about Te Wao Nui at 

Pictured top, left to right: Bill Day, Wellington Hospitals Foundation, Lynne Cowley, Charge Nurse Manager, Nic Rolfe, Leyla, Tiaki, Charlotte Stanczuk, Te Wao Nui Senior Project Officer, Helen (Leyla's Mum), Lauren Eastwood and Mal Joyce, Operations Manager

Pictured right: Welcoming Leyla to her new room