Govt to upgrade Tauranga Hospital

The upgrades are expected to take place next year. File photo.

The Government will upgrade Tauranga Hospital next year to support planned and routine care, so non-Covid patients are safe when Covid patients are being treated.

A total of $17.916 million will be spent on three projects for the city's hospital.

The approved projects are:

-expansion of ICU/HDU to occupy the entire level 1 floor, previously shared with the Coronary Care Unit (+2 ICU beds and +4 HDU beds) - $3 million capital,

-Coronary Care Unit moves to level 3 floor and is expanded (+5 CCU beds) - $12.416 million capital, and conversion of a ward for a 16-bed pandemic response ward,

-emergency department air management upgrades for staff and patient safety - $2.5 million capital.

“With high vaccination rates and better treatments and prevention methods, we are shifting to better support planned and routine care while also safely caring for Covid-19 patients,” says Health Minister Andrew Little.

“Treating Covid patients can be disruptive to other treatment as additional precautions are taken for infection prevention and control. Today’s announcements are about minimising that disruption.

“We asked Bay of Plenty DHB to prioritise projects that would strengthen local hospitals to provide planned and routine care in the age of Covid-19, and could start as soon as possible in 2022, with some projects completed as early as March.

“Today I can confirm we will fund 36 upgrades at 24 local hospitals throughout the country, and the operational costs to support them, at a total cost of $644 million from the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund. This includes the ICU and other upgrades at North Shore, Tauranga and Christchurch that were announced last week,” says Little.

“Now in 2022 we will also add 75 new standard inpatient beds in hospitals.”

Additionally, 355 existing inpatient beds will be converted into isolation or negative pressure environments, and a number of hospitals will have ventilation upgrades.

These upgrades will allow routine and planned care to continue and patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 to be treated, while helping to protect all patients, visitors and staff from the virus.

The upgrades include 23 new ICU/HDU beds, as well as eight temporary bed conversions to ICU.

Click here for a full list of approved projects throughout the country.

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Posted on 19-12-2021 18:46 | By

Thanks. Means so much if you agree. I suppose if you have rose tinted spectacles New Zealand is the greatest place on Earth. Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of people who are trapped overseas, or have overseas connections and are held hostage here, and both are treated like dog dirt by this Government, you may have a different perspective. I can tell you first hand that New Zealand’s reputation overseas has nose dived by the way this Government has behaved. It may well be that the majority think it’s ok but countries are judged by how it treats minorities. Good luck filling the skills gap by home grown talent. Any Kiwi worth a salt will head to Australia or further afield. Given New Zealand’s illiteracy and school absenteeism rates, it’s meth addiction rates and gang culture, I fear the skills gap will remain a gap, and a growing gap.

@Slim Shady

Posted on 18-12-2021 13:38 | By morepork

I agree with you about this. The Minister seems to have missed what any self-respecting CEO knows: The greatest asset to the Company is its people. As you noted, there is no point in buying hardware if you don’t have wetware to utilize it. We should be doing better in Training and, once people are qualified, we should be recognizing their value so there is no need for them to depart overseas. NZ still has a good reputation overseas as a good place to live, and there will be Health workers who are ready to come here, but we should be looking after that sector much better than is currently the case. I am amazed (and grateful) for the dedication of the people we DO have...

Borders and MIQ

Posted on 18-12-2021 08:51 | By

Most nurses come from overseas. When you effectively close the border and have lottery MIQ, which then has to be staffed by already exhausted nurses it’s no surprise that nurses have left in droves and replacements can’t or won’t come here. Little can buy as many ICU beds and ventilators as he likes. Meaningless hoodwinking because there simply are not enough nurses to staff them and there is no prospect of having any with the stringent border settings. This is the elimination strategy coming back to bite. It was always a blinkered approach. Strap yourselves in.

Transparency is good.

Posted on 17-12-2021 17:14 | By morepork

It is good to see where and how the money will be spent. Yes, it should have been done sooner, but saying that doesn’t put beds in a ward. The lack of resources that has caused the cutting back of non-Covid screening and treatment is shameful and the Government must take responsibility for it. We are lucky to have ANY medical staff at all when we see how undervalued they are.

Mental Health?

Posted on 16-12-2021 13:20 | By Seriously?

What happened to the finding from the great mental health review that was made? Any funding for those improvements? Tauranga doesn’t even have any beds in the mental health ward for kids, they’re all shipped up to Starship - if Starship will have them!

Smoke & Mirrors

Posted on 16-12-2021 12:16 | By

They don’t have enough qualified people to staff the existing bed capacity so they can plan (18 months too late) to put some more in, but they will remain shiny furniture. They can and have offered visa exemptions and spots in MIQ but nobody is coming to New Zealand. Why would you? It’s a prison if you have overseas connections. In fact, skilled people are leaving in droves. FORTRESS NZ


Posted on 16-12-2021 11:04 | By

It already is with Omicron. But New Zealand will do it’s damndest to keep it out and stick with Delta. Delta allows for vaccine passes and mandates. Omicron shows them to be pointless. The “pandemic” will end when everyone has had the cold. It’s that simple.


Posted on 16-12-2021 10:53 | By

So what have they been doing for the past 2 years ? What has the opposition in government been doing ? What has the $77B been used for if this is new funds ? Omicron is reported to be mild and like the flu for young, old and people with health morbidity.

Agree with Walbuck

Posted on 16-12-2021 10:30 | By Kancho

Seems everything is so reactionary . I read about a lot of breast cancer screenings cancelled because of covid and a probable 133 women who have gone undiagnosed in timely manner meaning more aggressive cancer and treatments. How many may die because of this lack of preparation. There are many other cancers and conditions needing diagnosis and treatment . The last long lockdown could have also been lessened as woefully slow provision of vaccines, pep gear etc. Testing, hospital preparations. Pfizer offered vaccines five months before but the government wouldn’t pay the 35 million so had to wait for further allocations over months later. Medical centres, pharmacies were not supplied as insufficient vaccines were available. This all cost people their livelihood and a lot of unnecessary pain with the delays. Many months of wasted time earned from the first lockdown only to be repeated


Posted on 16-12-2021 09:30 | By

We are 18 months + into this pandemic and the government is only now just trying to sort this out. Our hospitals are woefully under prepared, the nurses are leaving the hospital in their droves as they feel undervalued, under appreciated & underpaid by this government and with higher patient loads as more staff keep walking out the door. This is also at a time when the borders are being relaxed in Auckland, & heading into Christmas when the DHB’s will have reduced staffing which is another example of great planning by this government. It must be Christmas coming early for these contractors who are completing the work, at a cost of $18m to only add a further 11 beds!!! All of this is too little too late and a complete & utter shambles.


Posted on 16-12-2021 06:50 | By

are they doing it all now? Shouldn’t it have been done 18 months ago By the time it’s finished - we’ll be onto our 19th variant which will be little more than a runny nose