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PUBLIC OPEN DAY

Northland DHB warmly invite all general public to an open day of the Bay of Islands Hospital Redevelopment – Stage One Saturday 29 September 10am – 2pm

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Northland DHB Hospital Redevelopment Private: Maternity

The first hospital type facility in Whangarei wasn’t in fact on the current site.  The North Auckland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board ran a Cottage Home in Elizabeth St, Kensington

Project History

The first hospital type facility in Whangarei wasn’t in fact on the current site.  The North Auckland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board ran a Cottage Home in Elizabeth St, Kensington. The home was financed by charitable donation, as were all hospital services in New Zealand until the passing of the Social Security Act in 1938.

Cottage Home in Elizabeth St, Kensington, sketch by early hospital secretary Charles McKinnon.

The first building on the present hospital site, the Cottage Home, began operation in 1900 as an old men’s home. In its first year of operation it admitted 24   ‘inmates’ (as they were called then), all but one of whom were men.

At the same time, planning and fundraising for the construction of a hospital was taking place. As an interim measure, the Cottage Home took in patients with illnesses such as paralysis, diarrhoea, cancer and boils.

The first building on the present hospital site.

The original Cottage Hospital was built in 1901 at a cost of £1,440. The hospital housed two 5 bed wards of a type known as ‘pavilion wards’. To the rear of the building, lit by a skylight, was an operating theatre.

Soon after the hospital was built, a kitchen was added 40 feet to its rear, acessible via a covered walkway.

By the time of the First World War, the functions of the men’s and women’s wards had been reversed, and extensions made to both of them. In addition, 2 new wards were added, another men’s ward in 1914, and another women’s ward in 1918. The latter was constructed using funds raised by the Commercial Travellers Association.

By the end of the First World War, Whangarei Hospital had 5 wards. From west to east (going downhill) the first 2 wards were women’s medical and surgical, ward 3 was the children’s ward, and wards 4 and 5 were men’s medical and surgical.

Meanwhile, the Cottage Home continued as an old men’s home until 1918, when the building was converted into the Maternity Annexe after Frazerhurst had spent at least 5 years lobbying the Department of Health. With major alterations completed by 1948, the building remained the Maternity Annexe right up until about a quarter of a century ago. Many women still have distinct memories of giving birth in the annexe, and the colourful characters who worked there.

Maternity annexe circa 1970.

In the late 70s, when the current Delivery Suite was built along with Phase 2’s construction, the building became a day care centre for the elderly, at the same time being renamed Ward 10.

After the hospital had begun to rationalise its services for the elderly Ward 10 became occupied by Payroll and other support services in 1990. The building was vacated in 1996, and a year later sold privately and moved to its current site in Awanui.

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The site of the original building is now the hospital’s topmost car park