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Our skyline looks a little different this morning!  Wellington Region’s New Children’s Hospital took another significant step towards completion on the weekend, when builders McKee FEHL removed the multi-storied crane, allowing the new hospital to be completely enclosed and interior work to take place.

Dorothy Spotswood, Mark Dunajtschik and Bill Day watch as the crane is removed, marking a milestone in the New Children’s Hospital build.

Three years ago on 10 July 2017, Mr Dunajtschik announced that he would commit an extraordinary $50 million to build and donate a new purpose built children’s hospital for children and families throughout the Greater Wellington region.  Mark noted at that time that “I have always said that those people that are born with a healthy body and mind can look after themselves and those unfortunate to be born with, or suffering ill health, need our help.”

Now, almost three years later he and partner Dorothy Spotswood were on hand to see the latest milestone in the build.  Mark said he was very pleased with progress and the way the new hospital is looking at this stage.  “We have been working with the DHB to achieve a very good hospital for our region’s young patients,” Mark said.  They also paid special tribute to the team at McKee FEHL, “They are wonderful to work with and are doing such a great job”.

Bill Day Chair of Wellington Hospitals Foundation was also on hand and said that it was hard to believe that it was only three years ago, after an approach by the Foundation, that Mark made his decision to commit an extraordinary gift to our region’s young people. “It’s exciting to see that in a little over a year the vision will be realised and we will have a magnificent new purpose built facility, that will help generations of sick kids to come”, said Mr Day. “And it’ll be very strange for many Wellingtonians on their daily commute, not to see the flashing red lights on top of the crane!”

The Foundation is inviting the community to help raise the $10 million needed to complete the fit out of all the patient, family, medical, digital and creative spaces and to purchase new medical equipment.  “We’ve had some wonderful support from many in the community so far. This is a great opportunity for parents, grandparents, business, and charitable trusts to partner with Mark and Dorothy and the Foundation to make our New Regional Children’s Hospital a truly community hospital.”

Mr Day said that Children’s Hospital staff are working hard preparing for the move to the new hospital in just over a year’s time, and the medical teams are looking forward to the having a new state of the art, purpose built hospital.  Mark Stringer, Paediatric Surgeon said, “I’m looking forward to a better experience for children and their whanau at a time when they are often worried and anxious – more private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, better climate (ventilation/temperature) control, better play areas, and clean bright rooms. Children recovering from major surgery need these facilities which will help them sleep and recover quicker.”