The first meeting of the Waikato Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, the forerunner to Waikato District Health Board, was held on 1 December 1886.
Between then and now there have been a number of different names and types of organisations overseeing district health services in New Zealand, including hospital boards, Crown Health Entities (CHEs), and more recently district health boards.
Waikato District Health Board (DHB) was formed in 2001 as one of 21 health boards set up at that time to provide a point of planning, funding and providing hospital and community based health care in each defined health district.
The Ministry of Health website has more information about the development of the New Zealand health system.
The history of our services, buildings, people and the development of clinical techniques and equipment from early days to the present is celebrated in different ways.
Please contact the Waikato Health Memorabilia Trust if you have information or items of interest, or inquiries of a historical nature.
Aspects of our history have been published in several books over the years.
- Waikato Hospital Timeline book – based on the timeline mural displayed on Level 2 of the Meade Clinical Centre at Waikato Hospital, this coffee table book covers the history of Waikato Hospital in pictures.
- Changing Times, Changing Places: From Tokanui Hospital to Mental Health Services in the Waikato, 1910-2012. Edited by Catharine Coleborne and the Waikato Mental Health History Group (John Graham, Stephanie Lambert & Suzette Poole). The book is 264 pages in length and includes 49 black and white photographs. Copies can be purchased from the Waikato Health Memorabilia Trust.
- The Village on the Hill - Celebrating 125 years of Waikato Hospital is a new coffee table book produced in November 2011 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Waikato Hospital. Funded by the Waikato Health Trust and printed locally by Print House, it includes some of the historical and more recent photographs from Waikato DHB's extensive collection, as well as staff profiles and a snapshot of current media releases that highlight the range of issues and activities at the hospital.
- Under One Roof - a history of Waikato Hospital by historian John Armstrong, was published in 2009. This is a 500-plus page book that tracks the evolution of Waikato Hospital in social, political and economic contexts, and particularly the development of medical specialisation. The book provides a detailed and referenced source of information. This book was commissioned by the Waikato Health Memorabilia Trust and printed by Half Court Press Ltd.
- From Cottage to Regional Base - Waikato Hospital 1887 to 1987, by Rex Wright-St Clair, was published 1987 to mark the hospital's centenary, and focuses on the early period of the hospital and its staff.
Murals, displays, plaques
Many of our facilities display photos of from their past. At Waikato Hospital this rich history is celebrated by photographs, plaques and curated displays.
Timeline mural - Waikato Hospital
Located: Level 2 of Meade Clinical Centre at Waikato Hospital.
A unique timeline of the history of hospital care on the Waiora Waikato hospital campus. Developed by Anderson Design and Station Creative with the Waikato Health Trust, photographer Isla Trapski and Waikato DHB, the mural includes:
- 60 metres of history covering 130 years
- 226 historical images
- a display case containing important historical objects.
There is a coffee table book version of the timeline.
Waikato pharmacy through the years
Located: Level 1, Meade Clinical Centre at Waikato Hospital, opposite Reception B.
A fascinating display cabinet of early pharmacy apparatus, photos and books. This display contains a number of pharmacy items, including glass bottles, ceramic jars, pill and cachet making apparatus and moulds, together with photographs, other apparatus, and some books used as registers.
Located: Level 2, Meade Clinical Centre at Waikato Hospital. In the waiting area of Reception G.
Photos of the historic Te Waikato Sanatorium which provided care for tuberculosis patients and convalescent servicemen between 1903 and 1922.
Located: Level 2, Meade Clinical Centre at Waikato Hospital.
A display case showing the development of pacemakers.
Key people in the history of health services in the Waikato are acknowledged by plaques (often associated with the name of the building or area).
Plaques and foundation stones also mark the building or opening of a new facility. Where redevelopment has meant these markers need to be removed, they have been photographed and in many cases kept.
Waikato DHB has an extensive library of photos from the late 1880s to the present day, many of which are now stored digitally. This digital library is not open to the public. Photos are used for DHB publications and displays and for approved historical research purposes.