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Whangarei Hospital

Cardiac Catheter Laboratory and Operating Theatres


The Whangarei Hospital’s new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory and two new operating theatres are critical facilities for Northland District Health Board to meet the unprecedented growth for acute medical and surgical services in the region. Cato Bolam partnered with the NDHB and key stakeholders to deliver the civil engineering inputs for the project feasibility, building design and civil infrastructure certification on what was a highly constrained and complex site.

Project Expertise
Civil Engineering

Project Completion
May 2021

simon reiher - Whangarei Hospital
Project Lead

Simon Reiher


The Details

Whangarei Hospital’s new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory and two new operating theatres were officially opened in May 2021 by Minister of Health Andrew Little.

Complex engineering challenges within the tightly constrained site required detailed assessments of the stormwater infrastructure and overland flow path modelling during the feasibility phase to ensure the success of the project.

The location of the site in the low point of the hospital stormwater catchment required a high level of solution focused engineering design to accommodate both the major overland flow path and large stormwater pipes intersecting at this point. The design of the building’s basement floor plan, floor levels, surrounding ground levels and carparking area were driven by the detailed engineering solutions for the major overland flow path.  Precision design was also needed to re-route the large diameter pipelines, at minimal gradients, around the new building while avoiding critical infrastructure essential to the hospital’s operation.

Parking within Whangarei Hospital is at a premium so the location of the new building within the existing parking area presented another challenge. The engineering design called for critical thinking to accommodate the final car parking layout and construction traffic during the building phase.

Cato Bolam engineers worked with a diverse groups of key stakeholders, including NDHB operations staff, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency officials, and the building construction design teams to manage the ground infrastructure engineering design inputs for all building consents and construction observation for ultimate sign off on the building.

Northland DHB chief executive, Dr Nick Chamberlain, said the new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory project wasn’t just about having the facility in Northland, it had a much broader vision, which was, “Build it, and they will come.” Dr Chamberlain highlighted the work that the Projects Team had done managing and delivering both builds well under the cost of comparable projects in other regions despite the significant curveball of a global pandemic.


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