Waipapa – NZ’s largest hospital relocation

Waipapa is New Zealand’s most recent and largest public hospital project in the South Island. The 62,000m² state-of-the-art facility, completed in 2020, contains;

  • 401 in-patient beds
  • 12 operating theatres
  • 48-bed ICU
  • Two six-level inpatient ward blocks
  • Radiology and emergency department
  • Purpose-designed children’s facilities
  • Rooftop helipad
127231954 1552006565188084 6612749203033287427 o 980x735 1 1

This hospital has been built to Importance Level 4 (IL4) standards, or 180% of code – the highest level for a building designated to an essential facility that is equipped to be operational immediately post-disaster. The building is fitted with an impressive 129 base-isolators to absorb impact of an earthquake.

Waipapa will be the home for many of Christchurch Hospital’s Acute Services.

reception2 640x480 1

Awarding Crown The Project

Crown Workspace were awarded the project after extensive consultation between CDHB and the Christchurch City Council.

Leading the Crown project team was Nathan Baker our Southern Regional Manager. This is Nathan’s 5th hospital move in 15 years, and 2nd in 2020. Nathan’s leadership paired with Crown’s vast experience in managing large scale relocations allowed us to successfully relocate the South Island’s largest hospital relocation project with ease amidst a global pandemic.

IMG 4296

The Project Brief

In simple terms the project was to relocate the CDHB along with 3000 staff members and 350 patients from their existing wards and departments to Waipapa.

The relocation of a hospital comes with many unique challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospital relocation was due to be completed in November 2018, but was delayed due to some building compliances. Crown Workspace has worked alongside the CDHB the whole way and has adjusted plans throughout this time as new deadlines were provided.

At one point during the April Lockdown in 2020, Crown’s team completed an urgent move to populate the new hospital in preparation for what the pandemic might do to our public health system. Thankfully by going hard, early, New Zealanders got this under control so we didn’t get the explosion of cases as other parts of the world did, so it was never required, nonetheless we were prepared.

IMG 4251


Over a period of two weeks from the 14th to 24th of November, extensive planning and tight scheduling was put into place to ensure the move was both safe and timely. The moving of a hospital is like no other move you will ever experience. The timing of each move for certain wards or departments is very dynamic as the hospital must remain fully operational throughout the whole process.

Ultimately, Crown was onsite for 12 days moving 10 wards from the old building to the new location Waipapa.

A 3 a.m. start kicked off the move for the Emergency Department followed by the Theatres, Intensive Care Units, Sterile Services, Radiology and other various offices.

Crown Workspace worked alongside staff, patients, the public as well as the relocation project managers to ensure that every hour spent moving could be as flexible and fluid as possible.

“Waipapa Christchurch Hospital is the largest hospital ever built in New Zealand, and we feel very privileged to be a part of the effort.”

Nathan Baker
South Regional Manager, Crown Workspace NZ

Getting Underway

Crown’s role was to provide a full suite of relocation and packing services for the entire hospital. Our preparation took over 2 years and involved multiple meetings with each department to explain our methods and offer advice.

Another key component was Crown’s incredible empathy and care with everyone around us. There are a lot of emotions within this moving environment. Some of our team were accompanying very unwell patients in the transition from the old hospital to the new facility. Our team of 24 movers handled the emotional tasks with utmost professionalism, discretion and care.

During the moves of Sterile Services and Theatres, our teams were required to dress up in scrubs as they needed to be working in a sterile environment. Certainly not the usual uniform but it’s safe to say everyone enjoyed the brief change.

“People’s health and well-being is front and centre in our minds, so to be able to deliver a successful relocation to the benefit of the people of Canterbury feels very special.”

Nathan Baker
South Regional Manager, Crown Workspace NZ

On Time & Under Budget!

Crown Workspace completed the project using our top of the line cage trolleys for packing of hospital consumables and computers. We also supplied 1000 crates for hospital staff to pack up nonessentials.

The outcome of the relocation has been highly successful. Everyone has been very happy with our team despite the usual stress that comes with a large scale move. The project was delivered on time and 30% under budget!

IMG 4250

A Successful Delivery – Fast Facts

Here are some interesting facts from Waipapa Hospital relocation project:

  • Waipapa is the largest hospital ever built in New Zealand’s South Island
  • Crown Workspace staff walked an average of 50 km a day
  • 1000 crates were used in the transition
  • Preparation & planning took over two years
  • Crown was onsite for 12 days with as early as some 3 a.m. start days
  • Successfully moved 3000 staff members and 350 patients
  • Project was on time and under budget amidst a global pandemic
IMG 4248 rotated 1

If you are thinking of relocating your workplace we invite you to talk to our friendly Crown Workspace team today, we can even help you source second hand furniture, set up your IT equipment and do you next office fit out. For more information call us on: 0508 227 696 or email: [email protected] 

FIL call to action 1

Quality, Up-cycled Office Furniture at Great Prices!

Meet the team static

Relocating Your Office?

Hi there, you’ve reached us outside of business hours. Please leave your name and number and we’ll be in touch with you soon.

  • ✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Hi there, you’ve reached us outside of business hours. Please leave your name and number and we’ll be in touch with you soon.

  • ✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.