On time and also on budget

Taranaki Base Hospital's new $80 million building will "go live" on Monday as three years of construction draw to an end.

The hospital redevelopment, Project Maunga, is on track to come in on time and on budget when it is officially opened early next year.

Kaumatua from across Taranaki blessed the new hospital at a dawn ceremony yesterday in preparation for staff and patients to move across to the new building.

Services will start to move in now although the building will not be finished until the end of the year. The old building will then be demolished.

Chief executive Tony Foulkes said the blessing acknowledged a milestone as services were readied to relocate into the new building.

"Our staff have done a great amount of work ensuring we are ready for this move and it will be with much excitement that they finally get to use the improved facilities."

The first patients will be moved to TSB Ward 2B (children and young people) on Monday morning and from there each area has a designated moving day for the remainder of the week. Ward 2B clinical nurse manager Leonie Mercer said she and her team were excited to be moving into the new ward.

"There are so many benefits for staff and of course our patients and their families. We are very excited to be first," she said.

Hospital redevelopment project manager Steve Berendsen is asking the public to be understanding and to consider limiting their visiting for the week while everything settles in.

"We are very well organised for the move but ask that the public leave staff to look after their patients and get familiar with their new surroundings. For the week of the migration we ask that you limit any non-essential visiting."

Visiting times in the wards will continue to be from 2pm to 8pm.

There will be a four-storey link between the new construction, through what is now the in-patient block, to connect with the rest of the hospital.

Taranaki Daily News