Whānau rooms

Creating spaces that nurture families caring for loved ones in hospital

The new hospital facility will contain five specially designed whānau rooms called Nohoanga Haumaru: a safe place for caring, where caring is shared by the whānau and the clinical team.

Caring for a loved one in hospital can be stressful and tiring. We wanted to help make this time as comfortable as possible for people during a difficult time by providing spaces which provide privacy and comfort when a family member is critically ill or receiving end-of-life care.

These purpose-built rooms will provide a space for whānau who may, for example, be assisting with end of life or extreme care needs in the hospital setting. The rooms will provide whānau with a private, comfortable space where they are able to stay at all times to assist in caring for their family member but are also able to withdraw to provide the clinical team with room to do their job.

The design of these Whānau rooms was inspired from the Māori history of the land it sits on and the symbolism of the Tōtara tree. Whānau will enter the room with a blue wall on the left, which represents the waterbed that helps the Tōtara tree grow strong, and similarly, the ottomans represent the leaves of the Tōtara with its oval shape. The interpretation of a Māori lullaby, Hine e Hine, has also contributed to the special design. Hine e Hine is about a woman in despair but finds love and hope in the comfort of the song. This is a reflection of the emotional turmoil whānau may be experiencing with a sick loved one, who may draw comfort from the soft quilted textures, woven textiles, and pastel hues of the room.

These spaces are intended to be welcoming and comfortable for whānau of all cultures, including a small kitchenette, chairs and table, and room to sleep if that is required. They have an adjoining door directly into the patient room and a separate door from the ward corridor for whanau only. The bay window has a vertical squab to lay back on and looks into the beautiful Healing Garden in the atrium for additional comfort. The space can accommodate a larger number of whanau that can fit in a standard patient room. 

Thanks to the generous support of private donors, this project has been fully funded and will be used by many grateful whānau over the next few decades.

Our impact is only made possible through the following incredibly generous organisations: