| 10 Feb 2023

Children’s Ward at Timaru Hospital Receives a Makeover

Colourful walls and bright, warm sunshine fill Timaru Hospital’s newly-refurbished Children’s Ward - Te Whareruruhau Tamariki e Aoraki as it once again welcomes patients and their families.

The paediatrics facility refresh was completed in January, as part of a broader project to renovate the children and maternity facilities at the hospital. The project, which also includes a transitional care unit, is due for completion in May.

Before becoming operational at the end of January, the space was blessed and staff were given a first look. A name has been gifted by Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua. The name Te e Whareruruhau Tamariki e Aoraki, means “the place of shelter for children by Aoraki.”

Tewera King, Upoko of Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, said he knew the ward needed a poetic title.

“Aoraki shelters this children’s ward in his mana. The blessing has helped to prepare the space not only for the children who will come here to heal, but also for the caring staff who work in this ward.”

The refreshed paediatrics space has improved room layout and bathroom facilities, and is now more suitable for children of all ages, from the very young to adolescents.

Mark Liddy, Te Whatu Ora Paediatrics Charge Nurse for South Canterbury said he was grateful for the care and consideration shown by the project management team with respect to how staff wanted the new ward to look.

“The ward is barely recognisable. Now there is so much sunlight. And when this wider project is completed, mothers, babies and children will have their own spaces.”

He gave credit to the Te Whatu Ora leadership team in South Canterbury for having the vision to see the project through to completion.

The maternity and children’s facilities project is part of a $30m redevelopment and refurbishment of Timaru Hospital, which is ongoing.

The new Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation (AT&R) Unit is due for completion in May and the new Endoscopy Unit is on track to be finished at the end of March.

Tewera King - Upoko of Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, Joseph Tyro – Director Māori Health & Lisa Blackler - interim Hospital and Specialist Services lead


Mark Liddy - Paediatrics Charge Nurse


Children's Ward Reception


Children's Ward Babies Room


Children's Ward Room



Media contact:

Karen Berry
Communications Manager
Te Whatu Ora South Canterbury  
021 139 7442