Whangarei Hospital Plan (Zone) Change Application | Northland DHB

Whangarei Hospital Plan (Zone) Change Application


Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Northland DHB Plan (Zone) Change for Whangarei Hospital.

Northland DHB is sharing this information with you as part of the development of a Plan (Zone) Change application to be made to the Whangarei District Council (WDC) to change the zoning of the Whangarei Hospital site in their District Plan.

Northland DHB is seeking input from the public with regard to the proposed plan change to ensure people understand what is proposed and the reasons why. Northland DHB encourages feedback on the information displayed.

Please provide feedback using the forms that are available and feel free to ask any questions. Our staff and consultants are here to assist you.

      Aerial of old hospital site         aerial of old hospital site    

  historical image of hospital


Northland DHB services a large and diverse area. Like all District Health Boards Northland DHB is challenged by financial constraints accompanied by an unprecedented growth for acute services in medicine and surgery.

Northland DHB is facing increasing demand pressure for health services. This is driven by a number of factors including population growth, socioeconomic and demographic profile and contributing lifestyle factors.

For Northland DHB to deliver the level of service it desires its facilities need updating and upgrading.
Specific priority areas include:

  1. Expansion of the Emergency Department and development of an adjacent Acute Assessment Unit (AAU)
  2. Address the lack of acute theatre space and the demand for additional theatre capacity
  3. Replace the existing laboratory
  4. Replace the inpatient wards
  5. Expand and improve the special care baby unit; and
  6. Address the need for a Cardiac catheter lab and Eye clinic.

Original hospital

Current Situation

Northland DHB has forecasted it will need over 400 beds at Whangarei Hospital by 2037 (an increase of over 40 percent from the current 276).
This projected increase in bed numbers is significantly greater than the projected population growth for the same period of only 13 percent.
Northland DHB also needs to upgrade a number of its buildings and services to ensure they are of the required standard both structurally and operationally.

Whangarei Hospital employs approximately 1,800 staff, working three shifts (day, evening and overnight). The majority (1,400 staff) are on-site during the day, the remainder in the evening and overnight shifts.

Under the Whangarei District Plan the Hospital site is currently zoned Residential (Living Environment). The Residential Zone does not align with current and future Hospital activities. Therefore, Northland DHB has to apply for resource consent for all new development.

Constantly applying for resource consents is not a good use of Northland DHB’s limited financial resources and also limits their ability to appropriately plan for the Hospitals future development and redevelopment because of the uncertainty associated with the resource consent process

Current hospital image

The Plan Change

To enable the redevelopment of the Hospital in a coordinated and efficient manner Northland DHB is applying to WDC for a Plan (Zone) Change to the WDC District Plan.

The desired outcome of the plan change is to ensure new building projects can occur within an overall development envelope.  The development envelope proposed will be sufficient to encompass any of the proposed Options (shown on separate plans), or a combination of them, to enable flexibility in design and placement of buildings.

Developing an appropriate zone will also provide surrounding residents with certainty about the level of development that will occur on the Hospital site.

The development of the Plan Change needs to take into account:

  1. WDC issues
    a.    Wastewater
    b.    Stormwater
    c.    Roading
    d.    Planning
    e.    Parks

  2. Northland Regional Council issues
    a.    Stormwater
    b.    Transport

  3. The location adjacent to State Highway 14 (Maunu Road)

  4. Service provider issues
    a.    Chorus
    b.    Power
    c.    Gas

  5. The relationship to the neighbourhood
    a.    Traffic and parking
    b.    Noise
    c.    Height and size of buildings

Consultation will also be undertaken to identify issues and seek feedback on the proposed plan change from iwi.

The Master Plans

To cater for the increase in demand Northland DHB have developed three masterplan options to accommodate future development of the Whangarei Hospital site. The work to redevelop Whangarei Hospital will be subject to Government funding and will most likely take place in stages over the next 15 years, to provide enough capacity to accommodate the required need for the next 50 years.

The overall objective of the future development of the Hospital is to ensure the outcomes contribute to a healthier Northland. In redeveloping the Whangarei Hospital Northland DHB seeks to achieve the following:

  • Clarity – to provide a clear logical zoning to set up a framework for any future development

  • Capacity – to provide a feasible location for a major new build (or builds) to house regionally important clinical services and their future growth capacity, with buildings fit for purpose and of flexible design

  • Operation – ensure consideration is given to possible staged construction and connections to existing services, allowing easy relocation of services to enable ‘business as usual’ status; and

  • Experience - the planning should take into account sense of entry, clear site access and flow, important clinical needs for services to be close to each other, clarity of internal circulation, all of which will give rise to positive patient, staff and visitor experiences.

    Existing Buildings
    Existing hospital layout

    Overlay of new options on existing site plan
    New site options overlay

The three options being considered for redevelopment are:

  1. Progressive Redevelopment (Option 6), this is in part a redevelopment of existing buildings and some new building with the main work located in the area of existing development
    Hospital Alteration option 6

  2. Partial Greenfield (Option 7), this is in part a redevelopment of existing buildings and some new building in an area not currently largely developed (greenfield); and  
    Hospital Alteration option 7

  3. Greenfield (Option 8), this is largely a new build located on land that has little development currently.
    Hospital Alteration option 8

All land proposed for future development is Northland DHB owned land. The three options are displayed on this masterplan.

Process and Timetable

Initial consultation is underway and includes this public open day.

The plan change will be developed for lodgement with WDC in April/May 2019. During the development of the plan there will be further consultation about the change application to better understand and address particular issues as they arise.

Once lodged and accepted by WDC the plan change application must be publicly notified for two rounds of submissions. Anyone can make a submission and request to be heard by the plan change committee (likely independent commissioners) that will hear the plan change application on behalf of WDC.
Once a decision is made any submitter, or the applicant (Northland DHB) can appeal the decision to the Environment Court if they are not satisfied with the outcome. Once the plan change is operative it is incorporated into the WDC District Plan for use by Northland DHB.


Northland DHB is keen to receive your feedback on the proposed plan change.

Feedback form online.

This feedback is important to ensure that Northland DHB understands the public’s perception of the proposal and provides you with an opportunity to raise issues that you think need to be addressed.

The feedback also provides you the opportunity to show your support for the proposal.

Thank you for your feedback.


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