Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand, Te Matau a Māui Hawke’s Bay are upgrading and expanding Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s surgical services to increase the number of public surgeries the hospital 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 and waiting area with a new whānau room
  • 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.

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.

Work completed as at September 2023

STAGE 1: Link bridge, pharmacy room, theatre storage and more 

Completed September 2021.

  • We placed a mauri stone under the theatre block.
  • We’ve built a link bridge(external link) (covered walkway) and stairs joining the theatre block and the top floor of Ruakopito (the hospital’s Gastroentology and Endoscopy services building) so staff can access change rooms, tea room, meeting rooms and more.
  • We’ve built a dedicated theatre storage, theatre operations centre (TOC) and pharmacy room.
  • We’ve expanded the IT Hub Room in the roof space and placed large concrete footings in the basement for the steel.
  • At the conclusion of each construction stage we complete commissioning testing and hold a blessing prior to the area going in to service.

STAGE 2: Theatre Admissions and Discharge Unit 

Completed 31 March 2022.

We’ve replaced the former staff change rooms with the new pre and post-operative unit, called the Theatre Admissions and Discharge Unit TADU)(external link). This is a larger, more welcoming environment, which will help improve flow through the Perioperative Unit and the overall patient experience.


STAGE 3: Orderlies base

Completed July 2021.

We’ve converted the old gift shop at the hospital main entrance into the Orderlies base so that Sterile Services could expand in to their former space.

STAGE 4a: Theatre eight shell/temporary sterile storage

Completed March 2023.

  • We have completed demolition of the former staff tea room and theatre tutorial.
  • This space will eventually become the new theatre eight, but in the meantime will be used as sterile storage for theatre whilst we undertake work in Central Sterile Services Department (stage 7).

STAGE 4b: Secondary acute entrance to theatres

Completed 12 June 2023

  • We have completed a second entrance to the surgical theatres, which will be used as the acute (emergency surgeries) entrance during stage 6b, and will mean we have an additional way to get beds in and out in the future

STAGE 5: Extra space for Central Sterile Services Department

Completed 2023.

We’ve converted the former Orderlies base and part of the cleaners’ area near the hospital kitchen into additional space for Central Sterile Services Department to house their offices and loan store.

STAGE 6a: PACU expansion and refurbishment

Completed September 2023.

  • Refurbishment of the acute entrance to theatre
  • Expansion and refurbishment of the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (formerly Recovery). During this time PACU will relocate to the newly built pre and post-operative unit, the Theatre Admissions and Discharge Unit (Stage 2).

The PACU expansion will provide additional capacity. This will help Hawke’s Bay Hospital support an eighth operating theatre, due to be completed next year.



Work in progress as at September 2023

STAGE 6b: Acute theatre entrance refurbishment

  • Refurbishment of the acute entrance to theatre

STAGE 7: Central Sterile Services Department refurb and modification

Started December 2022, expected to be complete late 2023.

STAGE 8: Perioperative Unit refurb and modifications

Due to start mid-2023, expected to be complete late 2023.

  • Refurbishment and modifications to the Perioperative Unit’s inwards goods, medical records reception and waiting areas.
  • Seismic strengthening completion.

STAGE 9: Theatre eight construction.

Due to start late 2023 and is expected to be complete early 2024.


Pattons Engineering Site Team Leader Ray Karauria and Te Whatu Ora Hawke's Bay Senior Project Manager Janet Heinz at Stage 6, which will eventually be the new Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (formerly known as Recovery)