It is business as usual for accessing health services. Please continue to use local services when you need to, as normal.
Heretaunga Building at Hutt Hospital has been designated earthquake-prone due to the panels on the exterior of the building. Fencing was installed as a safety measure, to isolate the area around the building where debris could fall if an earthquake were to occur.
Our staff and patient safety, both clinical and physical, is our priority. We received expert engineering advice that the risk to people while working on investigating options and decision-can be made, is low. This means the building can continue to be used to provide our health services.
In 2022, our Clinical Expert Advisory Group and Facility Design partners worked together to develop options for the future of Heretaunga Building. The recommended preferred way forward is replacing the Heretaunga Building with a facility designed to modern standards and configured for contemporary models of care.
Decisions on which options become part of the wider national health infrastructure network planning are being coordinated within Te Whatu Ora's national Infrastructure and Investment processes. They work with each region to investigate, prioritise and make recommendations to the Board and Cabinet regarding any investment into the hospital network across the motu.
In the meantime, please continue using local services as normal when you need to. We will keep staff, patients, and the community updated as new information becomes available.
You can read previous updates from 2022 on the process (including links to the detailed seismic reports) below.
Other Formats Available:
Easy read translation – Word
Easy read translation – PDF
Patient information – NZSL
Community information – NZSL
Where do I go for my healthcare services?
Please continue accessing our health services as you usually normally do. The emergency department is operating as normal, as it is located in a different building.
As soon as we know when any services will move to new locations we will:
contact those people who are affected to let them know
update this web page with the new locations and dates they will move, and our Facebook pages
put up posters around the hospital
publish ads in the local community newspapers.
We will also aim to update our frequently asked questions each week – so check below for the latest news.
We will continue to share the latest news on this page, which will be listed below as more information becomes available.
If you have questions or concerns please email HeretaungaBlock@huttvalleydhb.org.nz. You can read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) available at the end of this page. These are updated as we receive more information and questions.
31 May 2023 - Planning the final stages of the Hutt Maternity Services Redevelopment
Our redevelopment planning for the Maternity Unit and the Special Care Baby Unit at Hutt Hospital are resuming.
The work to redesign birthing and postnatal rooms to create fit for purpose, culturally inclusive, whānau friendly and private environments is the third stage of a $10m project to overhaul and improve patient experiences across our maternity health services.
The project had been temporarily paused while options were considered for the future of the Heretaunga Building, where the Maternity Unit is based, after results of a seismic assessment saw it being declared an Earthquake Prone Building (EPB) last June.
A follow-up peer review of the detailed seismic assessment, which indicates the external cladding which was the contributing factor to the previous EPB finding, may not warrant the low %NBS rating, is in its final stages. This review process will provide a final seismic status of the building which we expect towards the end of July.
Safety for our staff and patients continues to be our priority. Engineers continue to advise us the Heretaunga Building presents a low risk to life given the likelihood of a significant earthquake occurring, along with the mitigation step we have taken. This includes the fenced-off ‘fall zone’ to keep people safely away from the cladding that may dislodge in a significant earthquake.
“With expert advice telling us that the building is safe to continue to use from a seismic perspective, we are proceeding with planning to redevelop the Maternity Unit and Special Care Baby Unit for the community, “says Jamie Duncan, Interim Hospital and Specialist Services Lead, Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley.
The long-term future of the Heretaunga Block will continue to be part of the ongoing planning process, and decisions will be made as part of the national asset management planning processes across the motu.
We will share timeframes for the final two phases of the Hutt Maternity Redevelopment project as planning allows.
9 December 2022
Today (Friday 9 December 2022) Te Whatu Ora released the “Understanding and Improving the Seismic Resilience of Hospital Buildings(known as the Kestrel Report). This report provides a national view of information about the seismic risk of hospital buildings across the motu, and the steps we will take to manage seismic risk consistently in the future.
Based on the Report’s recommendations Te Whatu Ora’s Health Infrastructure and Investment Group (IIG) have set up a work programme which will focus on:
- updating the seismic information held about all public hospital buildings including obtaining information about those buildings not yet assessed.
- preparing a Seismic Policy and Seismic Risk Management Strategy.
- preparing technical guidelines that establish seismic performance objectives and associated design criteria.
- implementing priority agreements with seismic engineers to ensure an effective post-earthquake response.
Further information can be found on Te Whatu Ora website.
This report will also inform the continuing work on options for the future of the Heretaunga Building at Hutt Hospital. As signalled in the Kestrel report this next phase of work will be led by the Infrastructure and Investment Group in Te Whatu Ora, who are overseeing the approach to hospital infrastructure investigation, design, and delivery across the motu. We will continue to share updates on our website.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to staff and communities who continue to provide and access care at Hutt Hospital. We also thank the many clinical and operational and technical staff who worked collaboratively and tirelessly on developing the options for the future of the Heretaunga building. They have dedicated their time and focus on helping identify the viable options from the clinical, operational, patient and whānau perspectives.
14 October 2022
The expert clinical advisory group for the Heretaunga building has completed their report reviewing future options for services in the Heretaunga building. This is part of the analysis of options including mitigation, remediation, and short or long term replacement of the building. We will now engage with all of our service delivery partners to ensure decision makers have the full picture to make an informed decision.
We are grateful for all of the work undertaken. These processes may seem long but it is important that we do it once and do it right.
We will be able to share more on both projects in November.
16 September 2022
Recently we developed an evaluation process to assess the viability on the options available for mitigating, remediating and replacing Heretaunga Block at Hutt Hospital in the future. We presented the evaluation process to the Infrastructure and Investment Directorate at head office this week to seek their feedback.
While we finalise the evaluation process we have also sought engineering advice on the mitigation and remediation options, as well as continuing work with Destravis and the Heretaunga Steering group to determine short-term prefabricated building replacement options for Heretaunga block.
Recommendations will be made by the Hospital Network Programme Board and discussed by the Executive Leadership Team towards the end of September. After they have made their recommendations, this will be submitted to the Infrastructure and Investment Directorate for consideration in October.
Update 26 August 2022
Destravis (our facility planning partners) have worked with the Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley District Expert Clinical Advisory Group and Senior Operational Managers to develop a report with options for a “pop-up” hospital facility at Hutt Hospital. This report has two purposes:
- to provide options to decant the Heretaunga Block in the short term and remediate or demolish the building; OR
- as a post-event option for the Heretaunga block if damaged in a seismic event in a way that requires evacuation.
On Friday (26th August) the Advisory Group will discuss the draft report and provide feedback on whether the options ensure we can continue delivering our services effectively from a patient, clinical, and operational view.
In parallel, engineers are finalising the scope, timing, and cost of mitigation and remediation options for the Heretaunga building.
All options will be considered together and a recommendation made to the Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley District Executive Leadership Team, then Regional Management Group of Te Whatu Ora in October to determine next steps.
Update 4 August 2022
Work is progressing well on our planning for Heretaunga Building after a final workshop with our Expert Advisory Group and senior managers last week. This focused on developing options for where we may be able to deliver services in the short-to-medium term. In parallel we are finalising scope, costing, and timelines for the options for strengthening Heretaunga building.
Once this is completed, all options will be evaluated to identify a preferred option. This preferred option will then go to district, regional, and national Te Whatu Ora leadership for endorsement and approval this year.
We are continuing to deliver our health services across both in the Heretaunga Building and other buildings at Hutt Hospital, while these next steps are worked through.
When decisions about relocating our health services or how we plan to strengthen the building are made, we will contact patients directly, share news across our newsletters and social media channels, and publish ads in the Hutt Valley community newspapers.
8 July - Workshops on relocating temporary and permanent services
This week health service design experts, Destravis held workshops with Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley’s Expert Advisory Group, District Clinical Advisory Group, and senior managers to review the preliminary options for temporary and permanent buildings for relocating our services in Heretaunga Block.
Day one focused on clinical and operational insights about requirements for services at the Hutt site, building on advice from each of the services in the Heretaunga building. This informed the next stage of the day, a review of preliminary alternative options, locations, and service providers. We are referring to the temporary options as ‘Pop-up Hospital facilities’.
On day two Destravis team presented the revised Pop-up Hospital drawings and options based on the feedback gathered from the previous day. We then discussed how we could care for our different patient groups within the options, and considered how the temporary options would interact with future permanent building options as part of master site planning.
Destravis are now collating this feedback to finalise draft options for the Pop-up Hospital based on the types of care service it would be best suited to provide from a patient, clinical and operational view.We will provide an update on this work later in July.
30 June 2022 - Yellow earthquake prone stickers
Today the Hutt City Council have confirmed that the Heretaunga Block at Hutt Hospital is earthquake-prone. Their decision confirms the advice we shared with the public based on earlier detailed seismic engineering assessments (DSA) we had requested as part of our ongoing network planning and maintenance works. These reports were presented at the final Hutt Valley District Health Board meeting on 22 June (below).
Our priority is the safety of our staff and patients, both clinical and physical. Engineers say the risk to people is low and we can continue using the building, while we find other places for people to receive treatment or access our services over time.
We are also awaiting further engineering advice on additional steps we can take (on top of the current fencing) to manage or potentially replace the facades in the interim.
On Friday (1 July) you will see yellow earthquake prone stickers as you enter the main entrances into Heretaunga Block, which we are legally required to display.
29 June – Staff update
PDF: Options for designing a prefabricated building onsite and update on Expert Advisory Group members
23 June 2022 - Board resolutions
On Wednesday 22 June we provided the Hutt Valley and Capital DHBs an update on the Heretaunga Block. This was the final Board meeting before the governance for the regional healthcare services will move to Health New Zealand on 1 July 2022.
Based on the resolutions from the previous meeting on 2 June the Boards were presented with:
In the presentation (below) we shared our medium and long-term plans for relocating services and emergency planning to keep our staff, patients, and visitors safe. These actions include:
The updated emergency evacuation procedures, response plans, and staff training we have put in place – including ordering additional evacuation equipment.
Requesting further engineering advice around additional steps to lessen or remove the risks the facades pose to peoples’ safety. This is in addition to the fencing that has already been installed.
Continuing negotiations with a range of providers to relocate services. As these discussions are commercially sensitive, we are unable to share details at this stage.
Investigating options to develop a business case for installing temporary prefabricated buildings onsite. This may be the quickest option to relocate some (not all) services on site.
Updated Master plan for the whole site to increase overall capacity for the long term.
The Chair of the expert advisory panel is organising workstreams for clinical teams to input into the project.
The Hutt Valley District Health Board agreed that in addition to the resolutions made on 13 May 2022 and 2 June to:
Request a further engineering assessment form an independent company that has not been involved in the assessment of the Heretaunga Block so far.
Obtain further advice on the Importance Level rating of the Heretaunga Block and determination process for IL2 versus IL4
Reaffirms the Hutt Valley DHB’s request to Health NZ that any services that are decanted from the Heretaunga Block are prioritized to venues in the Hutt valley and that all services return to the Hutt Hospital.
Request that Health New Zealand prioritises finding solutions for the Heretaunga Block as a matter of urgency.
To request that Health New Zealand and the Ministry of Health consider, as a priority, decisions regarding temporary building options on the Hutt Hospital site and community facilities, while options for a permanent building on the Hutt Hospital site that meets the current future healthcare needs of the community in the Hutt Valley are progressed.
Notes that any further decisions will be made by Health New Zealand once more information is available after 1 July 2022.
22 June 2022 2DHB Board meeting Heretaunga Block presentation
22 June 2022 2DHB Board paper
22 June 2022 @DHB Board resolutions (note these are not minutes, the minutes will be confirmed by the Chair under delegation).
17 June 2022 – final draft detailed seismic assessment
The peer review process of the draft detailed seismic assessment (DSA) is now complete. The updated engineering advice suggests that while the building is still considered earthquake-prone (subject to determination by Hutt City Council), several of the structural elements are now considered earthquake risk (rather than earthquake prone). The advice also reiterates the building can continue to be used for a period of time while alternative or replacement facilities are found. This means that while we recommend the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable, the timeframe around this may be longer than initially indicated.
On Wednesday 22 June 2022, the Hutt Valley and Capital Coast District Health Boards will consider the final draft detailed seismic assessment for our Heretaunga Block and receive an update on our approach for relocating healthcare services over the short and long-term.
The original draft DSA of the Heretaunga Block (issued on 8 March 2022) rated many structural and non-structural elements at 15% of the New Building Standard (NBS) at IL3.
Due to the importance of the Heretaunga Building and this rating, we engaged another external engineering company to carry out a peer review of the original DSA. This peer review process is now complete and as a result, the precast concrete façade panels are now the only part of the building rated at 15% NBS at IL3 in the final draft DSA.
The result does not change the overall status of the building. With one element still at 15% NBS at IL3, the building is still considered earthquake-prone under law. The other elements are considered earthquake risk. We are therefore recommending the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable.
The timeframes for this process will be based on the steps we need to take to mitigate the risk to life safety which will be outlined in the health and safety risk assessment and further engineering advice. These additional mitigation steps to manage the life safety risk may allow for the timeframes to be longer than initially indicated. At all steps our focus is protecting the health and safety of staff, patients, and visitors in the building.
We have updated our emergency response training and evacuation plans based on this latest advice, so staff, patients, and visitors will be able to evacuate safely in the event of any emergency.
The precast concrete façade panels are on the building’s exterior and we are awaiting further engineering advice on how we can further mitigate or remediate this risk. We already have a fence in place around the Heretaunga Building, which is the first mitigation step.
We are also continuing discussions within the community and with providers on options for helping deliver our services over the medium to long-term, while decisions can be taken on strengthening the building. This includes H progressing plans for prefabricated buildings and revising and accelerating the Master Site Plans.
The Board paper is available below. The peer review report and final draft detail seismic assessment on Heretaunga Block will be available on our website over the next day as we are having technical issues loading it to the web page.
22 June 2022 2DHB Board Papers (PDF)
Why is the building rated as IL3?
Importance Level (IL) relates to the consequences of a building being damaged in an earthquake. IL3 buildings tend to have contents of high value to the community, or contain crowds, such as conference centres, stadiums, or airport terminals.
What is the risk to me given the new DSA report?
We have received expert engineering advice that the risk to people while we take our next steps is low, and the building has performed well in previous earthquakes.
The updated assessment does not change the overall status of the building. With one element still at 15% NBS at IL3, the building is still considered earthquake-prone under law. So, we are recommending that the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable.
The timeframes for this will be based on the steps we need to take to mitigate the risk to life safety which will be outlined in the health and safety risk assessment and further engineering advice. These additional mitigation steps to manage the life safety risk may allow for the timeframes to be longer than initially indicated. At all steps our focus is protecting the health and safety of staff, patients, and visitors in the building.
In the meantime, we have updated our emergency evacuation procedures and plans tohelp mitigate the risk if people should need to leave the building in the event of an emergency.
We are awaiting further engineering advice on how we can further mitigate or remediate this risk of the precast concrete façade panels on the building’s exterior. There is a fence in place around the Heretaunga Building, which is the first mitigation step.
Why is the detailed seismic assessment still in draft if it has been peer reviewed?
The final peer review documents received from Silvester Clark this week have confirmed agreement with the findings in the final DSA. We have also received updated advice from the Ministry’s seismic advisor setting out their assessment of the peer review process and providing updated risk advice based on the findings. The final draft DSA is being shared with other agencies to confirm with them that it contains all the information that is required for their roles as future building owners, stewards of health infrastructure and regulators under the Building Act.
Are there changes in the final draft detailed seismic assessment?
Yes, there are. As a result of the peer review process, the precast concrete façade panels are now the only part of the building rated at 15% NBS at IL3 in the final draft DSA.
This does not change the overall status of the building. With one element still at 15% NBS at IL3, the building is still considered earthquake-prone under law. The other elements are considered earthquake risk. We are therefore recommending the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable.
As these panels are on the outside of the building, we have asked for further engineering advice on how we can mitigate or remediate the risk. To begin with, we have installed a fence around the perimeter of the building which is the first step in mitigating this risk.
Why has part of the engineering assessment changed?
We commissioned an independent peer review to ensure we are taking all reasonable and practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of staff, patients, and visitors in the Heretaunga building.
How has the NBS rating increased from 15% to 34 or above for the main structural elements, including the stairs?
The peer-review process involved Silvester Clark reviewing the structural drawings, and analytical models and calculations prepared by Aurecon, and discussing them in detail. Aurecon summarised the findings of these discussions in agreement with Silvester Clark.
The revised NBS ratings and final draft DSA supersede the previous guidance. They also reiterate the building can continue to be used for a period of time while alternative or replacement facilities are found. The rationale for the increased ratings included:
·more specific consideration being given to the columns of the perimeter seismic frames, these were found to hold much more resilient details than those typical of early/mid-1970s buildings
·further analysis of the detailing of the reinforcing in the columns provided increased confidence in their strength and therefore an increase in their overall performance
·more detailed analysis which considered the design of the floor diaphragms and stair flights and how they would perform overall, rather than the previous reporting of the minimum score for the first point of failure.
Will this delay the planning and relocation process?
No. We are updating our emergency response and evacuations plans and while we await further engineering advice on options for mitigating the risks of the facades cracking or falling, we are continuing our discussions within the community and with providers on options for providing our services over the short to long-term. We are also progressing plans for prefabricated buildings and revising and accelerating the Master Site Plans.
What is the plan?
This additional demand on our already stretched healthcare sector is constraining our ability to relocate services so we:
·are continuing our discussions with key stakeholders, the community, and providers on temporary and permanent options for providing our services over the short, medium, and long-term.
·are updating our project structure to reflect the scope of work and resources required
·have set up a clinical task force to provide advice to the project, who met for the first time last week
·are progressing plans for prefabricated buildings and revising and accelerating the Master Site Plans.
7 June 2022
The decision to take a precautionary approach and relocate services from the Heretaunga building at Hutt Hospital was supported by a range of expert advice.
The following documents are posted at the bottom of this web page:
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolution from 13 May 2022
Technical advice as at 13 May 2022
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolutions from 2 June 2022
2 June 2022 - Board Meeting
On Thursday 2 June 2022, a special meeting of the Hutt Valley DHB Board was held. This was at members’ request to continue discussions about the Heretaunga building at Hutt Hospital, and to receive an update on implementation planning and processes.
RESOLUTIONS FROM HVDHB Board meeting dated 2 June 2022
The Hutt Valley District Health Board agreed that in addition to the resolutions made on 13 May 2022 to:
(a) Request that Health NZ and the Ministry of Health commit to rebuilding on the Hutt Hospital site, a fit for purpose building that meets the current and future healthcare needs of the community in the Hutt Valley.
(b) Request that the Executive continue to work with facility providers to progress our service continuity plans for the relocation of patients and services, including maternity services, from the Heretaunga Building at Hutt Hospital – noting that:
i. as we are still in the early stages of our planning, decisions have not yet been made as to how any facilities will be used;
ii. this will be agreed as we work through the planning process and manage the relocation while ensuring service continuity and access to healthcare for our community.
iii. all decanted services from the Heretaunga Block be retained as a priority in the Hutt Valley.
(c) Request that all current services provided at the Hutt Hospital be returned to the Hutt Hospital after the rebuild.
(d) Request an update from the Executive on progress made, including any decisions, on (a), (b) and (c) at the Board meeting on 22 June 2022.
The Hutt Valley District Health Board note:
(e) The update from the Executive on the work being undertaken to give effect to the Board decision of 13 May 2022 and that a further update on next steps will be provided at the Board meeting on 22 June 2022.
Note: The minutes for this meeting will be considered for confirmation at the HVDHB meeting on 22 June 2022.
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolution from 13 May 2022
Technical advice as at 13 May 2022
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolutions from 2 June 2022