First baby born in original maternity hospital visits Waiora House
With the opening of the new Waiora House just around the corner, it was perfect timing to give Mrs Mata Knight (nee Hurae), the first baby born in the original maternity hospital, a sneak peek of the fantastic new building.
"I was given a silver cup because I was the first baby to be born in the building," she says, "and I still have it to this day!"
Mata was pictured in her pram at the official opening of the hospital with the nursing staff in 1944. And yes, we want to know the secret to her youthful good looks too!
The maternity hospital began operating in November 1943. By 1961, Taupō had been New Zealand’s fastest growing town for 10 consecutive years, and the maternity hospital was kept busy with the baby boom. Ten years later in 1971, Taupō General Hospital was officially opened by the Minister of Works and in 1987, the maternity services were relocated there. In 1989, the Waiora Community Trust was formed to administer the buildings on behalf of various community and social service groups who were working from it.
Mata says she loved seeing the new building and being back where it all began: "This is a really lovely building, warm and inviting. It's beautiful – and it’s amazing to see the change in this place after all these years.”
Do you have any photos of Waiora House from over the years? We'd love to see them. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.