Klein Hillmorton SMHS1

Hillmorton Hospital Specialist Mental Health Services

Klein — Public Healthcare

A spectrum of therapeutic spaces designed to give whaiora and whanau freedom of choice captures the essence of the new specialist mental health facilities. Beautiful interiors together with an abundance of natural light and connection to the outdoors provides a welcoming and homely environment, creating a sense of place and inspiration to support oranga hinegaro – mental wellbeing for everyone interacting with these spaces.

This Specialist Mental Health Services project was one of the final pieces of the puzzle to consolidate all of the Te Whatu Ora Waitaha inpatient services across 3 campuses. The Hillmorton campus has a long history of providing psychiatric services to the Canterbury region. This project included 2 different buildings. An integrated family health centre providing both inpatient services for Mothers and Babies, South Island Eating Disorders and Child and Adolescent services. It also provides a supportive environment for the Southern regional health school, outpatient facilities and a specialist day programme for child and youth. 

The smaller 16-bed inpatient unit supports adult consumers with high and complex mental health needs. These consumers often have a longer length of stay whilst in inpatient care, hence the scale and nature of therapeutic spaces have been designed to support the complex and varying needs of this consumer group.

Furthermore, these purpose-built environments were designed to support healing and recovery; meeting both the physical and psychological needs of its users and providing a safe and positive environment for staff. It will support the key role of whanau in partnership of care through the journey to recovery of the user.

In a time where the health workforce is stretched and wellbeing of staff a priority, these environments are truly supportive of those who work in them, providing a safer space for staff to care for the consumers who need them, and opportunities to actively engage with people and also to decompress when needed.

This project has embraced a number of key sustainability initiatives and has achieved a 5-Star Greenstar design and as-built rating, making them the first couple of Greenstar-rated mental health units in New Zealand.

Rebecca Webster, Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury mental health facilities clinical lead, believes that the new buildings will offer a sense of hope. “I think this is going to be really life-changing for people who you know use our services but also our staff."


Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury


Hillmorton Hospital, Waitaha Canterbury


2018 - 2023

Construction Value


Project Type

Public Healthcare

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