If Waihi Hospital was a book, it would be one of many chapters filled with a rich and colourful history.
Under new ownership a new chapter is about to begin. Steven and Hazel Wallace in partnership with Helen Watson and husband Dr James Spreadborough have plans to slowly renovate and restore “the old girl”. They envisage broadening the array of services provided at Waihi hospital and improving existing ones where required.
The Wallace family have owned Athenree Lifecare (Hospital, Resthome and Dementia care) for the past three years. Through their passion and hard work, Athenree has been turned into a highly professional, respected and caring environment for the elderly and younger residents with specific medical requirements.
James and Helen have recently joined hands with the Wallace’s, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge in the medical and business arena.
The partnership is very passionate about the history of this iconic building. Helen in particular has an emotional attachment with three generations of relatives being born in the maternity annex and nearest and dearest grandparents having spent their final days there.
Since being built in 1902 Waihi Hospital has held an important place in New Zealands medical history. A number of eminent surgeons, the likes of Dr.(Sir) Carrick Robertson, Dr. Hetherington and Dr. McMurray Cole along with many others have plied their trade in the “cottage hospital”.
In more recent times the hospital has moved away from acute medicine to one providing care for the elderly with hospital services, resthome, respite and palliative care. Still present since its addition in 1940 is the Maternity Annex, and surrounding the main buildings are 25 gorgeous cottages for independent living.
Together the partnership along with their team of staff look forward to developing Waihi Hospital and bringing this beautiful historic landmark building back to life. The aim is to grow it into one of New Zealand’s most respected boutique facilities, that will be a pleasure to live and work in.