Te Whatu Ora breaks ground on $56.1m Taranaki Cancer Centre construction project
16 October 2023
The construction of the $56.1 m Taranaki Cancer Centre (TCC) at Taranaki Base Hospital is now underway.
The TCC, which has been designed by architects Chow Hill, is to be built by national construction company Leigh’s Construction. Leigh's has been awarded the contract to deliver the state-of-the-art facility following a tender process.
The company’s yellow and black branding is a familiar sight on the Taranaki Base Hospital campus, as they are also contracted to deliver the New East Wing Building (NEWB) and have recently completed the region’s new and award-winning Renal Unit, Te Huhi Raupō.
“After a huge amount of planning and preparatory work behind the scenes, we’re very excited to be breaking ground and starting to build this game-changing facility”, says Gillian Campbell, Te Whatu Ora group director of operations, for Taranaki.
“We have built a strong relationship with Leigh’s and it’s fantastic that we have been able to secure them again for this important project.
“Once it’s built and commissioned, the TCC is going to transform the way people diagnosed with cancer in Taranaki are treated.
“Not only will it provide the latest in modern cancer treatment technologies, but it will also bring our region’s specialists and oncology services under one roof, and house a brand spanking new linear accelerator, or LINAC machine.”
A LINAC is a machine that uses radiation to destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding tissue and this will be the first time that this technology has been available in Taranaki.
“Having our own LINAC machine is massive for cancer patients and for our entire community. It means that when people are diagnosed with cancer in Taranaki, apart from an initial planning visit, most patients will no longer have to travel to Palmerston North and endure what can be a lengthy stay away from friends, whānau, and other support networks to receive radiation treatment,” explains Campbell.
“Being able to access radiation treatment this close to home will allow people to have the treatment, then head straight home to their own bed or even back to work, rather than having to stay in a motel in Palmerston North far from their family and support networks. These patient benefits and what it does for their overall wellbeing can’t be underestimated.”
“Clinical oversight of Taranaki Cancer Services will continue to be provided by specialists from Palmerston North, and they will also provide specialist staff to run the LINAC - a continuation of the long-standing close relationship we have with Palmerston North.”
The budget for the project is $56.1 m. This is more than double the initial $20.6 million budget but accounts for an extension in the scope of the building to accommodate all Taranaki cancer services, as well as additional costs due to factors such as market escalation.
Completion of the TCC is scheduled for mid-2025. Once commissioned, like NEWB, it will be a 5-star Green Star-certified purpose-designed building providing the latest cancer treatment technologies including:
- Ten chairs and two single isolation rooms for chemotherapy
- Eight outpatient consult rooms with video conferencing capability
- Restful and appropriate décor for wait spaces
- Whānau facilities
- LINAC Radiotherapy Unit
- Accessible facilities with carer-assisted change and bathrooms
- Staff offices and amenities
To be considered for the 5-star Green Star rating, a building needs to have strong sustainability principles ingrained into the design and construction. This includes reduced energy and water consumption, improved indoor environments (natural light, thermal comfort, and air quality), the use of sustainable materials and reduced impact on the surrounding environment.
Not only will this mean that the building will help reduce the carbon and energy footprint at Te Whatu Ora Taranaki, and it is also expected to have a significant benefit to staff, patients and whānau wellbeing.
Last updated: Monday, October 16, 2023