Historical interest

The first meeting of the Waikato Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, the forerunner to Waikato DHB, 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 in more recent times hospital boards and Crown Health Entities (CHEs).

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 district.

More information about

History of Waikato Hospital

Cottage Hospital

Waikato Hospital started as a small kauri farm cottage overlooking Lake Rotoroa in Hamilton, in the 1880s.

Today it stands as a sprawling campus and part of Waikato District Health, an organisation that employs more than 6000 people and offers hospital and community based health services across the Waikato.

The rich history of Waikato Hospital and its health services is recorded in memorabilia (equipment, books, documents, photographs, uniforms and the like) collected, recorded and displayed by the Health Memorabilia Trust in a bid to preserve rare and interesting material about the history of health for the benefit of future generations.

The history itself has been told in three published books:

  • The Village on the Hill - Celebrating 125 years of Waikato Hospital is a new 'coffee table book' titled produced in November 2011 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Waikato Hospital. Funded by the Waikato Health Trust and printed locally by The 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 focusing on the early period of the hospital and its staff.

 Please contact the Health Memorabilia Trust if you have information or items of interest, or inquiries of a historical nature

Other publications

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.