Generous philanthropist funds brand new children's hospital in Wellington

A brand new multi-million dollar children's hospital will open in Wellington next year, thanks to a generous philanthropist. 

The current 30-year-old hospital has been described as cramped and lacking proper air conditioning. 

Dr Andrew Marshall, the clinical director, told Newshub it's difficult to manage infection control, as families are forced to share rooms. 

"The whole experience for families is not very good at the moment." 

Marshall told Newshub in the current hospital some parents are sleeping in chairs while staying with their children in a room shared with six to eight other patients. 

For Bailey, 11, who has cerebral palsy, she and her family know all too well what a night or two at the current hospital is like. 

Bailey's dad Hularii Mckenzie told Newshub being in and out of shared-rooms at Wellington's Hospital slows recovery. 

"It slows down the healing - she can't sleep, she can't rest so [during] the day time she is more in pain" 

The purpose-built hospital could have been 10 years further down the track if philanthropist Mark Dunajtchik hadn't donated $50 million to the project. Dunajtchik doesn't have children of his own but says he just wants to help. 

"I have no children, it's my basic philosophy to help people that are unfortunate." 

Dunajtschik's $50 million contribution was the largest with the Government funding coming in at just over $45 million. The Wellington Hospital Foundation sourced $10 million in fundraising.

The new hospital will have 50 inpatient rooms  - all with ensuites fitted, and beds for parents which fold out from the wall. 

The building will be complete with a spiral staircase and murals designed by Weta workshop, Marshall saying it's built for children.

"This whole building has been designed so it is very appropriate for children" 

The new build was due to be completed by early this year but COVID-19 delayed the build. It is now set to be complete by November. Staff will then spend three months training in the new building before children will fill its beds.