August 2022 | Update #5

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Project Maunga Stage Two Update

Tēnā koutou kātoa

On July 1, Taranaki District Health Board became Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand, Taranaki as part of the national health reform.

On behalf of the Project Maunga team, I would like to acknowledge the Taranaki DHB Board, Te Whare Pūnanga Kōrero (Ngā Iwi o Taranaki Hauora Partnership Board),  and our Project Steering Group (PSG) including Taumaruroa, our Tiriti partner group for the project, who have ably guided us thus far. I am pleased that key members will continue to be involved with Project Maunga, led by Gillian Campbell, Interim District Director for Te Whatu Ora Taranaki and the Taumaruroa Chairman, Te Pahunga (Marty) Davis.

One of the biggest challenges any building project faces is the weather – and we all know what the Taranaki climate in winter is like!
The recent rainstorms created a large temporary swimming pool on the New East Wing Building  (NEWB) site, which is definitely not on any of the plans. With the install of additional site drainage, we’ve been able to continue with the scheduled works, including erecting the 400T crane to commence pile testing, with great results to date. 
Making sure we have the materials we need, when we need them is an important part of any construction project. This has become crucial with the continual global supply chain shortages, particularly effecting the construction industry. One of the key mitigations we have in place is the early procurement of the structural steel for NEWB. This means that despite shipping delays, the steel is expected to arrive just when we need it.

Despite our early procurement programme, Project Maunga Stage 2, hasn’t been immune to the national gib shortage. We have been pulling in favours, begging and borrowing from various sources to ensure we can get the Renal Unit open by the end of the year.

Ngā mihi
Jesse Jardine
Programme Director

Sign up for the Project Maunga Newsletter

Get the latest news on the redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital by signing up for the Project Maunga Newsletter here. The newsletter comes out four times a year and contains some great photos of the work being done on-site, access to design concepts and important updates. 
Check out this video tour of the New East Wing Building, giving viewers an insight into how the new facility will look and feel. 

And don't forget you can follow progress of the build on the timelapse camera - TDHB - Project Maunga - currently the foundations are really beginning to take shape and you can see where Lofty the crane will be sitting.

Progress Report - NEWB

One of the key elements of New East Wing Building (NEWB) is the screw pile system, which ensures that the foundations of the building are strong in the event of any seismic activity.
Stress testing the piles makes sure they are fit for purpose - usually only a sample number would be tested, but given how critical NEWB will be for the region, all 360 piles are being put through their paces.
Testing involves using the 400 tonne crane to push down with great force on the pile and measuring the distance the pile moves. Around 10-50mm is acceptable.
The process is going well and testing will be completed soon.

Scaffolding has gone up to enable cladding to be installed on the 'purple wall' of the Acute Services Building (ASB).
The purple is actually the wall lining exposed when the main entrance link was demolished - but many people liked the purple and orange colour combination.

The image here also gives an idea of the scale of the retaining wall and ground anchors - she's a pretty deep hole!
The first concrete foundation beams were poured in a fine weather window this month.

Progress Report - Renal Building

Images clockwise from top left: External cladding and flashings are nearing completion, with the external timber boardwalk entrances underway. The large, reclaimed telegraph poles are a prominent feature of the front entrance boardwalk; The Northern façade has large windows where the patient treatment bays are located, with great views out to the ocean. You can also see the roof mounted solar panels; The reception area; Looking down the corridor towards staff offices and facilities; Flooring preparation underway in one of the plant control rooms; This is where the patient bays will be - look at the view!

The internal fit-out of the Renal Building is progressing well with the plasterboard linings nearly finished in time for installation of the vinyl flooring. All the electrics, plumbing and data cables are going in too.

A significant milestone recently achieved was the successful air-tightness testing of the building. This is a key part of the Net Zero Energy certification as it proves the high thermal performance of the building – i.e. in winter cold air stays outside and warm air stays inside, and vice versa in summer. This was one of the first times this testing has been conducted on a commercial scale building in New Zealand and was an interesting process for all involved.The building performed better than expected, which is a fantastic result.

Progress Report - Energy Centre

The Energy Centre is progressing well with the building 75% complete. July was another busy month for the team with the install of the second oxygen tank, the final pre cast panels, ceiling gib installed in the generator hall, as well as placement of the generators.

The second oxygen tank doubles the storage capacity of  oxygen on site, as part of the implementation of our Seismic Risk Management plan, improving resilience and supporting potential increases in oxygen demand .

News Update

Talking to the next generation of construction workers

The Project Maunga team were out in force at the Taranaki Careers Expo recently, with representatives from Te Whatu Ora-Taranaki, Leighs Construction and project managers RCP.

The event at the TSB Stadium brought local businesses, projects and education providers together to enable young people, and those looking for a change in career,  to explore the opportunities available to them all in one place.

“It was a great couple of days with lots of information shared about trade-related training programmes and interest in summer work opportunities,” says Katrina Mayo, Work-Based Learning Lead. “It was great to see so many young women interested in getting their trade qualifications as a stepping stone to construction management or architecture, for example.

“We also had a lot of interest from members of the public in the plans for the redevelopment of the hospital which were up on display – there were a lot of positive comments.”

Katrina's role is a collaboration between WITT/Te Pukenga, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Project Maunga to help generate the workforce needed for the new development of the Taranaki Base Hospital and address the skills and labour shortage in Taranaki.

NEWB Mains Work Contract Milestone

The Main Works Contract for the construction of the New East Wing Building (NEWB) was signed at the end of June by Rosemary Clements, on behalf of Taranaki DHB, and Gary Walker from Leigh’s Construction.
The signing was an exciting moment for the Project Maunga Stage 2 team as it signalled that work on the main building would commence.

“Everyone is looking forward to seeing this new healthcare facility take shape and the signing of the contract is a big step forward on our timeline,” says Programme Director Jesse Jardine. “It's been great working with Leigh's Construction on the project to date, and the Project Maunga team is pleased to be able to continue with the partnership.”

Image: (l-r) Danny Tessier Project Director, Leighs Construction; Gary Walker, CEO Leighs Construction; Rosemary Clements, CE Taranaki DHB; Steve Berendsen, Project Maunga Programme Manager, Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki; Jesse Jardine, Project Maunga Programme Director, Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki.

Meet The Team

Lesley Johnson

An upcoming forum on Women in Construction will feature Leigh's Construction Health and Safety Manager, Lesley Johnson.

Lesley is responsible for the health and safety of those working on the various Project Maunga construction sites.

The forum will explore the barriers and opportunities for women in the industry with Lesley featuring as one of the speakers at the event, alongside other presentations, a panel discussion, workshop session and networking opportunities. Attendees can also find out more about the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).

“The construction industry is great place to work for women, with lots of opportunity for professional development,” she says. “There is the perception that because the industry is male-dominated it can be hard for women, but I’ve never had any issues.

As a child, Lesley always enjoyed pulling things to bits to see how they worked, and tinkering with her motor mechanic grandfathers. She began training to be an electrician straight out of school, gaining an apprenticeship with the local council.

“It was a fantastic way of learning the trade and open the doors to so many opportunities for me. The added bonus was when I completed my training, I had a job, no debt and a nice car, while my friends who had graduated from university were desperately trying to find corporate jobs to pay off their student loans!
“I have worked in some amazing places, including overseas, and gained insights into things that the average person would never experience.”

She hasn’t missed out on tertiary education either, having completed a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management from AUT University. She moved into the health and safety space with Clelands Construction, and gained over 12 years experience in various sectors before coming to Leigh’s Construction and Project Maunga.

“I enjoy what I do, and would encourage anyone, of any age, to find out more because people just don’t realise what could be out there for them.

The forum takes place on Thursday 22 September from 4pm at HEL Rimu Ltd, 66 Connett Road, Bell Block. Wine and supper provided. Register via the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce website at

Taranaki Health Foundation

The Taranaki Health Foundation supports Te Whatu Ora-Taranaki in providing the best healthcare possible, through sponsorship and fundraising initiatives. All funds raised are spent purely on equipment and services in the Taranaki region, for the benefit of Taranaki people.
Shining Peak Brewing’s 5% Project sees the Taranaki business donating 5% of their beer sales each month to a local Taranaki organisation.
In July, Neonatal Taranaki was the chosen recipient with a cheque for more than $4,000 received from the team at Shining Peak. The funds will be going towards the purchase of equipment in the new neonatal department, to make sure that vulnerable babies get the best care possible and that their parents can stay close by.

Shining Peak staff member Brittany experienced first-hand the amazing job the neo-natal team do, so she was pleased to be part of the presentation.

This August, Shining Peak Brewing are continuing their support for the Taranaki Health Foundation with the emergency department receiving this month’s donation.

Image: Brittany with Taranaki Health Foundation Donor Relationship Manager Grant Carter.
STOP PRESS: Taranaki engineering company Energyworks has pledged $250,000 towards the new purpose-built cancer care centre at Taranaki Base Hospital.

“This is a project that’s exciting for our region, and we’re very excited to be involved – it was too good an opportunity to miss,” Energyworks Managing Director Geoff Bourke (pictured) said.
“The people of Taranaki deserve world-class health facilities, and we see this as a legacy project – something that all of our people, our kids and grandkids, will benefit from either directly or indirectly in years to come.”

The centre brings together oncology services into one space, and will provide radiotherapy treatment currently only accessible by travelling to Palmerston North. The centre has been designed with patient comfort and accessibility at its heart.

Taranaki Health Foundation General Manager Adrian Sole said Energyworks’ support was critical to helping the region get the health services it deserves.
“Having Energyworks onboard is fantastic, and we’re extremely grateful they’ve chosen to partner with us on this once-in-a-generation project.
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