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Employer heading

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board logo
Nelson Marlborough DHB
Private Bag 18
Tipahi Street
New Zealand
Telephone number
03 546 1800

The beginning for both Nelson and Wairau Hospitals can be found in the earliest development of the top of New Zealand’s South Island.

Settlement in both Nelson and Marlborough represented many difficulties from the health of the immigrants when they arrived off ship to impure water supply and hostile terrain. This was especially marked in Marlborough as settlers moved out in to the Sounds. In Nelson, the first hospital was established in 1852, with Marlborough’s following in 1865. While hospital development for Nelson has always centred around in Nelson City for Marlborough a cottage hospital was built in Picton in the early days. The hospitals in both areas grew, as need required and as provincial, then central government, coffers would allow. For many years the Nelson and Wairau Hospitals and their related services were managed separately. Amalgamation first occurred in 1988 with the establishment of the Nelson Marlborough Area Health Board. Over the years both Hospitals have gone through a number of transitions to become some of New Zealand’s leading health care providers providing a range of facilities and services required by the diverse communities they serve. Today both hospitals and a myriad of other services are managed by the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, which came in to being in 2001, employs over two thousand health professionals and other workers. Their skills and enthusiasm serve a population of nearly 120,000 in a region that is one of the fastest growing in New Zealand. History of Wairau Hospital Marlborough’s first provincial hospital was located in Picton which, at the time, was the Provincial capital. This hospital was built in 1865 at a cost of £582 and 2 shillings. The first hospital in Blenheim, later to become Wairau as we know it today, was established in 1865. In 1878 the Blenheim Borough Council established the first hospital in Blenheim in a rented cottage in Maxwell Road. This was a five roomed cottage accommodating four patients at any one time four patients. The hospital was named "Wairau Hospital" as Wairau was the name of the electorate, which later became Marlborough. The first hospital to be established on the current hospital grounds was built in 1887 and had accommodation for twenty five patients. It was built on the Amersfoot Estate and cost £1,650. In 1915 three Wards (1,2, & 3) of a new hospital on the current site were constructed at a cost of £17,225. These buildings, although now demolished, became the nucleus for the current hospital. Wards 4, 5 & 6 (a 90-bed block) built during World War 2 (completed 1943) by the Marlborough Hospital Board are still in use today. The building known as the clinical services block, was built in 1968-69 for $645,000. It currently houses a number of hospital departments including A&E, X-ray, laboratory, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and outpatient services. The Arthur Wicks building was officially opened in 1976 and cost around $1.9 million. It is still used as the main inpatient facility, wards 3 & 4. A new maternity and paediatric wing known as wards 1 & 2 was built in 1987. Two new theatres, an ambulatory care unit and a sterile supply unit were completed in 1994 at a cost of $4 million. In 2006 the Ministry of Health approved a business case for the redevelopment of the Wairau Hospital site and allocated $36.6 million for the new hospital.


web site June 2013

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board presently has no vacancies listed in our database.