Nau Mai Haere Mai. Welcome.
Wellington Regional Charity Hospital
Ngā ringa o
The many hands of Te Wheke-a-Muturangi
make light work when in unison
The team at He Ringa Āwhina has a big dream: making sure every Kiwi has access to the surgical and medical services they need to live a dignified life.
Our goal is to establish a charitable hospital that offers free specialist services to the people in the Wellington region who can't get care from existing public health institutions and can't afford private medical care or health insurance.
He Ringa Āwhina - Wellington Regional Charity Hospital will care for our community with a strong and sustainable organisation rooted in the values of dignity, love, and support. We rely on the community's funding
to ensure that eligible individuals receive the healthcare they deserve. Our patient catchment area matches Wellington Free Ambulance's coverage, from Cook Strait to north of the Kapiti Coast, and across
to Mt Bruce in the Wairarapa. This area is home to 500,000 people. He Ringa Āwhina is inspired by the successful Canterbury Charity Hospital, which has assisted thousands of patients since it was established in 2007.
What do we do
The hospital stays in tune with the community's needs and the public health system's capabilities, ensuring we provide timely care. We closely track referred patients, maintain communication with the public system and staff, and actively adapt.
While the exact services of He Ringa Āwhina are still being determined, our aim is to offer comprehensive and accessible healthcare options:
General Surgery: Hernia, Anorectal (Haemorrhoids)
Gastroenterology: Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy
Orthopaedics: Hand/Foot surgery
Plastics / dermatology / GP: Skin Lesions
Vascular: Varicose Vein procedures
Other procedures: Hysteroscopy / Cataracts / Simple ENT procedures / Flexible Cystoscopy for Urological complaints, and other non surgical and procedural options.
How you can help
To provide the envisioned services, He Ringa Āwhina needs suitable places to set up with operating rooms, medical equipment, consultation rooms, and administrative support. We won't be receiving any government or Te Whatu Ora - Health NZ funding, relying instead on donations, grants, and the generosity of our wider community to continue supporting those in need in the Wellington region.
Our primary sources of funding will come from grants and significant philanthropic investments for major expenses like leasing and equipping our facilities and obtaining medical equipment (estimated at around $7-8 million). We will also depend on public donations, bequests, and fundraising activities to cover ongoing operational costs, including medical supplies (estimated at approximately $1 million per year).
Volunteer Medical Services
In the Wellington region, awesome doctors, nurses, and other caring folks will generously volunteer their time and skills to help He Ringa Āwhina thrive and offer free services. We've already received incredible offers of support from many Wellington medical professionals who believe in our charity hospital. Alongside our dedicated medical team, a fantastic group of volunteers will provide valuable support and help with administrative tasks.
Together, we're making a difference.
“I am excited about the development of He Ringa Āwhina and delighted to be able to play a part in what I am sure will become a significant contributor to the future health and wellbeing of communities in the Wellington region.”
Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM CVO QSO DSt
Dame Patsy served as the Governor-General of New Zealand for five years from 2016 – 2021. Trained as a lawyer, she has had extensive experience in governance and business consulting roles, both in the public and private sector including with several creative and charitable organisations.
She is currently Chair of New Zealand Rugby and Crown Regional Holdings, Chair of the NZSO Foundation and a Trustee of Aspen Institute NZ.
She is also Patron of Transparency International NZ, Brain Research New Zealand Rangahau Roro Aotearoa, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua, and Hospice Wairarapa.
He Ringa Āwhina - Wellington Regional Charity Hospital Trust is a registered charity. The trust board members who set it up are:
Dr Graham Sharpe, ONZM (Chair)
Graham has been a specialist anaesthetist at Wellington Hospital for over 30 years.
A former President of the New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists, he is also a reserve officer in the RNZAMC and has served on a number of medical boards and committees.
Dr Phil Dashfield
Phil is a GP with experience in low socioeconomic communities, both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. Poverty results in much poorer health status for individuals in these communities, and frequently makes their medical care challenging. Nowhere is unmet health need more evident, so this is the target population for the Charity Hospital.
Dr James Tietjens
James has worked as a consultant general surgeon at Hutt Hospital since 2017. He maintains a wholly public practice with a sub-speciality interest in colorectal surgery. James is currently the supervisor of general surgery training in the hospital, and is a strong advocate for trainee welfare and education.
Dr Anna Davison
Anna is a long term associate GP at Newlands Medical Centre in Wellington where she has worked since 2006. She has a wide interest in all aspects of family medicine and has postgraduate diplomas in paediatrics and obstetrics and gynaecology. She has been a tutor in medical student training and has been extensively involved in her community as a volunteer at her children's schools and sports teams.
Tim is a Partner in law firm Russel McVeagh, where he leads the Public Law and Policy practice. He is a member of the Trust Boards of the Motu Economic Trust and Foundation; Tim has a long-standing interest in medico-legal issues and was part of the legal team that assisted Ms Lecretia Seales in her law reform project on End Of Life Choice.
Murray is an independent director and advisor. He is a previous Chair of the Financial Markets Authority and Chartered Accountants Aus & NZ. He was formerly CEO and then Chair of Deloitte NZ. He has served on advisory boards and Ministerial committees and has carried out several independent reviews for the government. Most recently he has served on the oversight bodies for the COVID 19 vaccination and health system preparedness programmes.
Peter Samuel Jackson
Ko Taranaki me Te Atiawa ngā iwi
Ko Ngati Haupoto me Te Mate Hou ngā hapū
Ko Te Aro rāua ko Waiwhetu ngā marae
Ko Sam rāua ko June oku mātua
Ko Peter Jackson taku ingoa
A cultural consultant and independent director with a commerce degree and a background in IT, small business ownership, and property investment.
I have a solid understanding of governance, management, and the mechanics of organisational success.
Vito Lo Iacono, Chief Executive
Vito has deliberately carved out a varied career spanning the music industry, marketing, sports management, NFP and public sector. As an independent strategic consultant, Vito's specialist interest and passion in leadership development, coaching and business growth sees him partner with SMEs and charity organisations helping them understand their teams, inspiring leaders to look at the behaviour of their business from a strategic standpoint.
Dame Kerry Prendergast
Dame Kerry chairs Wellington Free Ambulance, the NZ Film Commission, the Royal NZ Ballet, Wellington Opera, and she sits on the board of Oceania Ltd, an age care provider, Victoria University Foundation, NZ Community Trust, and several other organisations. She has been the chair of NZ Tourism and EPA. A local government politician for 27 years, she was Mayor of Wellington from 2001-2010. Her profession was a nurse and then midwife.
Neil is the managing director of Forsyth Barr and was an inaugural recipient of a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2005. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ, and has been Chair of the NZ Society of Investment Analysts. He has worked in financial markets based in Wellington for over 30 years with extensive governance experience. He is the past Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington and has served as a Director of NZX and Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand, chairing the NZICA Regulatory Board. He is a Director of the economic think-tank New Zealand Initiative and NZ Art Show Ltd.
Chris Norman, Advisor
Chris was appointed to the position of Operating Theatres Services Manager at Wakefield Hospital in 1999. This role involved the clinical and management aspects of complex surgery across 6 operating theatres. Chris resigned from this position after 21 years in October 2021. Prior to this Chris managed the Acute Out of Hours surgery in the Operating Theatre at Capital Coast Health. Theatre has always been her passion due to the complexity and diversity of the surgery.
Debbie Gee, independent communications consultant
Debbie has extensive experience in senior leadership and strategy in central and local government prior to setting up her own business. Her areas of expertise and experience include stakeholder engagement, communication, public consultation, social marketing and change and project management across a diverse range of organisations and sectors. Debbie is also a qualified mediator, facilitator, coach and trainer and serves as a director on a number of non-profit boards.
Mike is a dedicated philanthropist and active member of the Wellington community. He brings a wealth of experience and passion for giving back to the Wellington Regional Charity Hospital Trust Board. With a strong commitment to supporting charitable causes, Mike has been actively involved in encouraging businesses to contribute to important initiatives like the Wellington Regional Charity Hospital. His contributions and involvement in significant projects, such as the Health HQ makeover, showcase his dedication to enhancing healthcare and making a positive impact in the community.
Our gratitude extends to the following supporters alongside our amazing individual benefactors: