News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Waitakere maternity service marks 50 years of babies

Waitakere maternity service marks 50 years of babies

Waitakere Hospital’s maternity service commemorates its 50th anniversary this week with a range of celebrations underway.

Over the last 50 years, the maternity service at Waitakere has greeted the arrival of more than 50,000 new Aucklanders.

As part of celebrations, more than 100 submissions were supplied by members of the public to a twoweek long exhibition now underway at the main entrance foyer of the hospital. These submissions feature stories and photographs of those born in the maternity unit, or who gave birth there.

Waitemata DHB chief executive Dr Dale Bramley says the exhibition is a fitting tribute to a service that has been an integral part of the west Auckland community for many years.

“It’s only appropriate that we celebrate this milestone by sharing some of the wonderful personal stories and memories west Aucklanders have of the unit.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our maternity staff at waitakere – many of them long serving – who make such a significant contribution to our community through their work on a daytoday basis,” says Dr Bramley.

As part of anniversary celebrations, five permanent photographs were also unveiled in the hospital’s maternity unit. The photos feature some of the unit’s most memorable guests, including:

Rodney Heuthorst, the first baby born in the unit 50 years ago

Titirangi mum of 14 Jane McAllister, who had the most babies born in the unit

Actor/director Angela Bloomfield (of Shortland Street fame) who had her two children there

Long serving staff members Maureen Harrison, Susan Cluitt and Estelle Swindells, who

between them have 90 years of service and delivered hundreds of Waitakere babies

Phoenix FoutanuTamatoa, the first baby born on the unit’s actual anniversary day (6 June)

A selection of maternity staff uniforms from the past 50 years will also be on display at the hospital.

The activities mark an important milestone for the maternity unit, which began life in 1964 as the Waitakere Maternity Hospital, a fourstory building with a delivery suite and three wards.

As the population in west Auckland grew, so too did health services. The biggest physical change occurred in 2002 when construction began on a $60 million redevelopment of Waitakere Hospital.

The new hospital was completed in 2004 and today Waitakere Hospital is a provider of primary and secondary maternity facilities for women, with eight birthing rooms, two postnatal wards with a total of 36 beds, and a Special Care Baby Unit for babies born early.

Community services are also delivered out of the hospital, including midwifery services, antenatal classes, childbirth education and lactation consultant clinics.

The original maternity building – now called the Snelgar building – still remains on the Waitakere Hospital site.

It is used for a range of local health services and also houses the Waitakere campus for Awhina, Waitemata DHB’s research, teaching and learning division.

The building is also home to the Simulation Centre, a sophisticated hightech clinical training facility with the key features of a fully operating hospital environment, enabling students to learn, practice and observe.

The site continues to expand to cater for the growing population in west Auckland. New developments underway include a $9.8 million expansion of Waitakere Hospital’s emergency department which will see it almost double in size, along with plans to upgrade the existing maternity facilities.

It follows a significant programme of investment in west Auckland over recent years, with the delivery of projects such as the major expansion and upgrade of the Rangatira Paediatric Unit, the provision of 247 emergency care at the emergency department, the addition of a new endoscopy suite and the development of the Awhina Health Campus in conjunction with Unitec.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news