New Hospice building first of its kind in New Zealand


A new Warkworth Wellsford Hospice caring centre, with architecture influenced by “The Architecture of Hope” from Maggie’s Centres abroad and offering wraparound care within, will be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

The new Hospice, Tui House, offers a fresh approach in architecture and health, hosting private and semi-private spaces with most rooms connecting to the outdoors.

A distinguishing feature of the Warkworth building is that it is based on the concept of a barn to suit the largely rural area it serves, and to provide a hopeful, open energy space which is homely, welcoming and familiar.

The day programmes have been largely modelled on the Dove House Model of wraparound care which supports and empowers people in the community to navigate holistically through the process of living with, and dying from, life threatening illness.

Patients, family members and other carers will be able to attend nurse-led clinics, day programmes, patient and caregiver education, therapy groups (eg relaxation and mindfulness), grief and other support groups.

Tui House will provide two day respite beds, and includes an education and community wing where hospice nurses can give palliative care training to health care workers and members of the community.

The community wing will also be available for hire to the community for meetings, small events and private functions.

Warkworth Wellsford Hospice general manager Kathryn Ashworth says the new purpose-built facility will enable Warkworth Wellsford Hospice to keep pace with the growing need for care as the local population grows and ages.

“We believe rural people deserve the same quality of care as people in urban areas, and we look forward to providing that,” she says.

“We will be able to offer services which help keep our patients close to home and may keep them out of hospital.

“Tui House will allow Hospice to offer wraparound support, giving families confidence to care for their loved ones at home and deal with challenges as the person’s illness progresses,” Ms Ashworth says.

Construction of the new $6 million facility began in May last year. The majority of donations came from 157 individuals, businesses and community groups, and funds pledged from Trusts and Foundations.

Major donations came from the Rodney Health Charitable Trust, Pub Charity, the Ted and Mollie Carr Endowment Trust, the Lotteries Community Facilities Fund and The David Levene Foundation. Hospices receive no government funding for capital projects.

Warkworth Wellsford Hospice previously operated out of two former dairy factory houses which are now inadequate for current and future demand.

The opening of the new building coincides with the release of Hospice’s video, This Cause is Dying, featuring local celebrity Rachel Hunter.

The video aims to encourage people to help keep the service alive in the face of increasing costs and a growing need.

Rachel donated her time to make the video with the Hospice which cared for her mother, Janeen Phillips, when she was dying earlier this year. “I wanted to give something back to this amazing cause,” she says.

It was important to her that her support reached as many people as possible, and the charity readily agreed to create a campaign with her which benefits those who need Hospice care across New Zealand.

The video can be viewed at