On this page:

General information

Facilities for tamariki and rangatahi

Facilities for whānau

Finding your way around

Staying overnight at Te Wao Nui



What is Te Wao Nui?

Te Wao Nui is our new Child Health Service for the Wellington region, located in the new Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood Building. 

When did Te Wao Nui open?

Our first patients were welcomed into the new building from 17 October 2022. You can more about the move on our news page

What does Te Wao Nui mean?

Derived from Te Wao Nui a Tāne, the name translates as 'The Great Forest' and reflects the ecosystem of integrated health services designed for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau of central New Zealand.

It recognises the cultural significance and life-giving properties that Māori associate with the forest and underpins the 'tree of life' concept, the forest murals and kaitiaki whānau that have been developed for the new hospital's interior.

Te Wao Nui and its story was developed in collaboration with tamariki, our Māori Partnership Board, the Wellington Hospitals Foundation, Child Health staff, as well as Weta Workshop and the architects who designed it. 


Facilities for tamariki and rangatahi

What services are provided in Te Wao Nui?

The new, purpose-built children's hospital houses our child health services, previously located in different parts of the Wellington Regional Hospital, under one roof for the very first time. 

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. 

Are the bedrooms single or double?

All bedrooms are single beds except for two double rooms on level 3, and one double room on level 4. Please note: level 4 will open in 2023. 

What facilities are there for adolescents?

There are teen lounges on level 3 which is open, and on level 4 which will open in 2023. 

Are there TVs in the bedrooms?

Yes, there is a smart TV in each bedroom.

Is the day ward just for surgical patients or will there be medical procedures in there too?

The Day Ward cares for children who need tests, treatments and day stay operations.

Are there baths in the bedroom ensuites?

There are only showers in the bedroom ensuites, however there is a bath room on levels 3 and 4.

Is there a dedicated lift for patients?

There are three lifts in Te Wao Nui, one of which is dedicated lift for use by patients and support services.

What are kaitiaki and what role do they play in Te Wao Nui?

A whānau of nine kaitiaki have been developed, with attributes and values to help tamariki throughout their hospital journey. Find out more about the kaitiaki here.

Is there a café?

Yes, you'll find the White Cedar Café on level 2 opposite the reception desk, under the Tree of Life staircase. if you're coming from the main hospital take the link bridge from level 3 and use the lifts or stairs to come down to level 2. 

The café is open to everyone from 7am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am - 5pm on weekends.

Their menu changes daily with choices for everyone, including gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian. People are welcome to provide feedback using the QR code on the menu.

Plus if you're a regular visitor you can get a White Cedar Café Coffee Card and you'll get your 10th Havana coffee for free! 

Who can use the sleep room?

The sleep room can be used by families with children in ICU.

Are there spaces for whānau to use? 
There are whānau rooms on levels three and four. 

Is there parking for families?

There is designated parks for children with disabilities.

For all other families there is a drop-off zone and parking located behind the hospital. Access to the parking is through the main entrance and you can exit the same way.

Are there places for families to wash clothes?

There is a laundry for whānau on levels 3 and 4.

What are the visiting hours to the wards?

Parents/caregivers are welcome to visit at any time.

Other whānau/visitors are welcome (with parent/caregiver approval) in visiting hours, which are between 8am-8pm.

Main ward doors will be locked outside the opening hours (6.45am-8pm).

How do you get into the building after-hours?

The side lobby entrance can be used for out-of-hours access and has an intercom system.

Who can use the breast-feeding room?

The feeding room can be used by both families and staff. This area is for baby feeding only.


Finding your way around


How do we get to Te Wao Nui from Wellington Regional Hospital?

Te Wao Nui is located next to Wellington Regional Hospital. You can use the link bridge on level 3 – ask the volunteers in the Atrium oto guide you if you’re not sure – or you can walk externally between buildings.

There is a direct route to theatre and our intensive care unit (ICU) via the link bridge.

How will we find our way around?

Some of our kaitiaki whānau have been brought in to help you find your way. Tiaki will help guide you around level 2, Kōwhai can be found on level 3, and Piko on level 4. Follow the kaitiaki on our walls and floors to help you find your way.

What is on level 2?

  • Children's clinics (see below)
  • Child Development Service
  • Child Protection Service
  • Community Nursing Team
  • Gyms  
  • Outside Playscape
  • The White Cedar Café is open to everyone from 7am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am - 5pm on weekends. 

What clinics will run on level 2?

  • Child Health Services
  • Ophthalmology
  • ENT
  • Cranio-facial
  • Orthopaedics
  • Child Development Service
  • Allied Health
  • Child and Family Safety Service.

What is on level 3?

  • Surgical Ward – 17 beds
  • Day Stay – 12 beds
  • Children's Cancer Service – three beds
  • Central Regional Health School (CRHS)
  • Surgical SMO office
  • Senior Nurse office
  • Meeting Room and Seminar Room
  • Link to Wellington Regional Hospital.

What is on level 4?

  • Medical Ward – 23 beds
  • Short Stay Unit – nine beds
  • Medical SMO office.

This floor will open in 2023 once additional building works are completed


Were local tangata whenua consulted about the name?

The local tangata whenua and Māori Partnership Board have been involved throughout the entire design process.

Why did we need a new children's hospital?

The previous Wellington Children's Hospital building was nearly 30 years old and no longer fit for purpose. 

Te Wao Nui brings inpatient services and outpatient clinics under one roof, allowing for the integration of services, as well as encouraging clinical collaboration.

What benefits does Te Wao Nui provide?

The new child health services and inpatient facilities offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Improved quality and experience of care for children and family/whānau 
  • A more child and adolescent friendly environment with ability for a parent/caregiver to stay by every bedside
  • A larger, more functional unit for observing and assessing children 
  • Co-location of child health services in one facility to improve coordination and teamwork
  • Increased ensuite bathrooms, and greater numbers of single bedrooms, to better support patient care.

How are we honouring benefactor Mark Dunajtschik in Te Wao Nui?

The building itself is named The Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood Building in recognition of Mark and his partner Dorothy's generous and unprecedented $50 million donation. Both their names feature prominently inside and outside the new hospital building in honour of their gift to the young people of our region. 

How much did it cost to build?

The cost of the building works, including furniture, equipment and fittings, is approximately $116 million. Financial contributions to the hospital include: 

  • Mark Dunajtschik's commitment towards building and donating a new Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital - $53 million donation
  • The Government's contribution to enable site testing and preparation, drainage and demolition of three buildings to make way for the new 7,500m2, three story, stand-alone Children’s Hospital - $46 million 
  • The Wellington Hospitals Foundation's fundraising and community contribution  - $10 million
  • Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley’s contribution - $7 million.

Who does Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley Child Health Service cater for?

The District’s Child Health Service is an important part of New Zealand's specialist children's hospital network. It supports babies to adolescents (16 years and under) with medical conditions and paediatric surgery. 

Specialist paediatric surgery is only performed at five hospitals in the country. We provide paediatric surgical services for children from the Capital and Coast region, as well as children from Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Whanganui, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Marlborough.

Around 7,500 children per year are admitted to the hospital wards at Wellington Regional Children's Hospital. Around 80 percent of the children live in the District’s area; the other 20 percent are children from the lower North Island and upper South Island. 

There are more than 87,000 young patient visits to Wellington Regional Children's Hospital each year – most of which are outpatient visits.
Last updated 4 April 2023.