Health Minister Dr Shane Reti today officially opened Tōtara Haumaru, the country’s newest hospital facility, on Auckland’s North Shore Hospital campus.

The first patients are set to be welcomed into the 150-bed facility tomorrow (Monday 1 July) which will serve the Auckland and Northland communities well into the future.

In opening the new facility, Dr Reti acknowledged the significant benefits the new building would bring to the entire region and beyond, and the contribution it will make to planned care wait lists.

His sentiments were echoed by Brad Healey, Director of Operations at Health New Zealand’s North Shore Hospital.

“This is a fantastic facility which not only houses some of the most up-to-date clinical facilities in the country but has also been thoughtfully designed by our people to provide a welcoming environment for patients and their whānau.

“Over time, this fantastic new facility will assist Health NZ to reduce the planned care wait lists for the northern region. We will achieve this by being a centre for minimally invasive procedures as Tōtara Haumaru expands on the delivery of Robotically Assisted Surgeries in the northern region.”

“The separation of planned care from acute care will also give us more certainty that when we book patients, they are less likely to have their treatment deferred because of acute demand.”

Tōtara Haumaru will help to serve the northern region’s fast-growing and ageing population. It is expected to rise by almost a quarter in the next 20 years with the number of people aged over 75 in the area doubling. 

The four-storey building contains eight surgical theatres and four endoscopy suites using state-of-the-art equipment and technology. 

Brad Healey says the facility will open in stages, with 2,000 elective procedures planned for the first year. Once fully operational, it is projected that 8,000 surgeries and 7,500 endoscopy procedures could be performed within the complex each year.

“In the short to medium term, we will be moving some existing services into the new facility and carrying out surgical cases that would otherwise have been outsourced to private providers. A greater mix of cases can be carried out at the more modern facility, which means some patients whose care is considered too complex to outsource will be able to have their surgery at Tōtara Haumaru.”

“In the long term, once fully operational, the facility will take on work from other parts of the region to meet patient wait list and waiting time demands.”

“As use of the facility increases, Tōtara Haumaru has the capability to be more productive, with more efficient use of theatres and procedure rooms, than existing facilities with smaller pre-operative and recovery areas.”

In addition, the surgical theatres and endoscopy suite are expected to be less impacted by acute work coming into the hospital, enabling elective surgeries to be completed more readily.

The facility provides increased availability of negative pressure rooms on the North Shore Hospital campus which will help with managing and minimising the impact of infectious disease, particularly respiratory illnesses.

Tōtara Haumaru is part of a wider national infrastructure programme involving more than 1,500 capital projects at various stages of planning and delivery across the country, including major projects under construction in Dunedin, New Plymouth and Christchurch.

Tōtara Haumaru was originally funded and built by the former Waitematā District Health Board. With the establishment of Health NZ, the model for operating the building has had to be reworked to ensure it meets the future needs of not just the local community and wider Auckland region, but also where it can support patients from further afield.

Funding has been allocated from the Hospital and Specialist Services operating budget for the 2024/25 financial year. $30m per annum will also be allocated in addition to the yearly operating budget to fund the increase in treatments to be provided at Tōtara Haumaru.

This will see surgical cases previously outsourced to the private sector being brought in-house as staff are redeployed and recruited to run the facility. It will also accelerate our progress towards achieving the Government’s health targets, particularly in the northern region.




About Tōtara Haumaru

The four-storey hospital building featuring patient and whānau-centred design supports modern models of care and has in-built features that will enhance the experience of patients and visitors.

It will add more than 19,600 square metres of floor space to the campus and includes:

  • Eight new operating theatres;
  • Five new wards, comprising 150 additional inpatient beds at full capacity;
  • A four-room endoscopy procedure suite for colonoscopy and gastroscopy procedures;
  • Whānau rooms that enable families to be close to loved ones requiring medical care, equipped with a small kitchenette, chairs, a table and room to sleep;
  • A central atrium featuring a large-scale indoor healing garden made possible through the support of the Well Foundation; and
  • An extended Sky Bridge link connecting Tōtara Haumaru through the Elective Surgical Centre to the main hospital tower block, enabling the transfer of patients and movement of staff across the campus.

Evolution of the project

  1. The development of the new facility was started in 2015 by the former Waitematā District Health Board (DHB) as a small-scale elective surgical unit expansion.
  2. Since then, the scope for the development expanded several times, with the go-ahead for the build announced in October 2018.
  3. The key stages for the project scope were:
  • 2015 – An elective surgical unit expansion addressing a 40-bed deficit at North Shore Hospital;
  • 2017 – Project expanded to four surgical theatres (two for ‘regional work’), two 30-bed wards, four endoscopy rooms and recovery area to address a need for additional surgical and procedure space for forecast population growth;
  • 2019/2020 – Project expanded to eight surgical theatres (four to be fitted out), five 30-bed wards (four to be fitted out), four endoscopy rooms and a recovery area (two rooms to be fitted out). There was also a change to the building importance level, which upgraded to Importance Level IL4, which is key to the hospital continuing to operate after a major event.


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