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Ceremony Celebrates Tainui Relationship

Media information
Embargoed until 1am 15 July 2008

Date: 14 July 2008

Ceremony Celebrates Tainui Relationship

Waikato Hospital's new main entry and carpark building will be gifted the name 'Te Rau Aroha' today as it is officially opened by Te Arikinui King Tuheitia and the Rt Hon Helen Clark.

The name means love, acceptance and support of all who enter the hospital and Waikato District Health Board chair Jerry Rickman believes it is fitting for its purpose.

"The building is now the main entrance into the hospital and with so many visitors, patients and staff using it, it is appropriate for the name to mean something for everyone who uses it.

"We are honoured to have been gifted this name by our Kaumatua Kaunihera and also that King Tuheitia and Helen Clark are attending today to jointly confirm the name to the building," Mr Rickman said.

Mr Rickman expects more than 200 people to attend the ceremony tomorrow where a plaque will be unveiled to commemorate the opening and sanctioning of the name 'Te Rau Aroha' linking through to 'Waiora Waikato'.

Dame Te Atairangikaahu gifted the name 'Waiora Waikato' to the Waikato Hospital campus in 1989.

A plaque from the ceremony in 1989 has been in place outside the hospital's emergency department but is now located alongside the new plaque from today's ceremony in the new main entry building.

Mr Rickman is looking forward to the celebrations today.

"It's about our relationship with Tainui who have played a significant part in the hospital's history.

"Our association with Tainui has stretched back over 100 years and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them in this new chapter of the hospital's history," Mr Rickman said.

The official opening ceremony takes place at 10.45am, Tuesday 15 July.

David Cunliffe, Minister of Health will also attend.


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