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.

You can find an update on works completed and in progress below. 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.

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)

We've completed (as at October 2022):

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

Completed September 2021.

  • We held a pōwhiri to welcome our contractors Hawkins and acknowledge the contract signing with them.
  • We held a dawn blessing prior to starting the works and the relocation of the Hospital memorial sign that is now sitting in pride of place in the roundabout in front of the hospital’s main entrance and chapel.
  • 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 5: Extra space for Central Sterile Services Department

Started September 2021, expected to be complete mid-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.


Works in progress (as at October 2022):

STAGE 4: Theatre eight shell/temporary sterile storage

Started May 2022, expected to be complete January 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 6: Acute theatre entrance refurbishment, PACU expansion and refurbishment

Started March 2022, expected to be complete mid-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.

STAGE 7: Central Sterile Services Department refurb and modification

Due to start December 2022, expected to be complete mid-2023.

STAGE 8: Perioperative Unit refurb and modifications

Due to start December 2022, expected to be complete mid-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 early 2023 and is expected to be complete late 2023.