Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is upgrading and expanding Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s surgical services to increase the number of public surgeries the DHB undertakes each year and improve patient experience.


The upgrade includes:

  • Building an additional theatre, taking the total number of operating theatres to eight.
  • An upgraded reception area with a new whānau room.
  • The renovations will improve patient flow through theatre, from the time of pre-admission through to discharge, and the efficiency of operations through the layout of pre and post-operative areas.
  • Building dedicated pharmacy and specimen handling rooms.
  • Seismic upgrades of the theatre block to ensure it is immediately operational in the event of an earthquake or other disaster.


Construction programme

Hawkins Construction were appointed to undertake the upgrade and are building in nine stages. Below is a high-level schedule of construction.


  • Pre-work and site establishment (November 2020-January 2021): Establishing the construction site.
  • Stage one (starts in early January 2021 and lasts for six months): Seismic strengthening; building a link bridge between the top floor of Ruakopito (the hospital’s gastroentology and endoscopy services building) and the theatre block to access new change rooms and staff facilities; building a dedicated pharmacy room, theatre storage and stairs joining the link bridge; and expanding the IT Hub Room in the roof space.
  • Stage two (will start in June and run for around four months): Demolition of the existing staff change rooms and, in its place, building the new pre and post-operative unit.
  • Stage three (will start in mid-July and run for around two months): Convert the old gift shop at the main entrance to the hospital in to the Orderlies base.
  • Stage four (will start in late July and run for around three months): Demolition of the existing staff tea room and theatre tutorial. Later in the project this space will become theatre eight but in the meantime will be used as sterile storage for theatre whilst we undertake work in Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD).
  • Stage five (will start in late-September and run for around two months): Convert the current Orderlies base and part of the cleaners area near the hospital kitchen in to additional space for CSSD to house their offices and loan store.
  • Stage six (will start in mid-October and run for around nine months): Refurbishment of the acute entrance to theatre, expansion and refurbishment of the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) formerly known as Recovery. During this time PACU will relocate to the newly built pre and post-operative unit.
  • Stage seven (will start around mid-November and run for around seven months): Refurbishment and modification of CSSD.
  • Stage eight (will start around June 2022 and run for around six months): Refurbishment and modifications to the Perioperative Unit’s inwards goods, medical records reception and waiting areas.
  • Stage nine: Stage three (will run for around six months and is expected to be complete in early 2023): Theatre eight.


Please note that dates are indicative only and are subject to change. We are working closely with staff and patients to minimise disruption as much as possible and ensure safety.