Responsible for providing, or funding the provision of, health and disability services for the people of Northland, the district health board covers a large geographical area from Te Hana in the south to Cape Reinga in the north. The Northland District Health Board headquarters and main hospital are located in the city of Whangarei, with smaller hospitals in the Bay of Islands, Kaitaia and Dargaville.

It serves a projected population for 2010 of 157,420 and employs around 2,553 staff.

Acute services are provided through the district health board’s four hospitals, based at Whangarei, Dargaville, Kawakawa and Kaitaia, with elective surgery performed at Whangarei and Kaitaia. These services are supplemented by a network of community-based outpatient and mental health services, a range of allied health services and a public health unit.

Some specialist services like radiation treatment and rheumatology services are provided from Auckland or through visiting specialists travelling to Northland.

Northland DHB has four hospitals which provide an extensive range of acute and elective services with a significant network of community based outpatient and mental health services with Whangarei Hospital being the main provision facility.

Whangarei Hospital – is Northland DHB’s largest  hospital and provides secondary specialist care to all of Northland and has 246 inpatient beds.

Services include:

Surgical, 7 theatres each with own specialty

7 bed Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit – Helicopter retrievals and transfers

24 hour Emergency Department

Paediatrics – Paediatric Ward’ Special Care Baby Unit and Intensive Care Unit

Medical and Disability Support – 2 medical wards including Dialysis and Coronary Care

Mental Health and Clinical Support – including 31 bed Inpatient Ward

Maternal and Child Health – purpose built Child Health Centre

Maori Health Service

Community Health Services – located off campus in Whangarei and in the community. The services encompass Dental, Primary Care Nursing, Allied Health and Public Health Services

Radiology – the Imaging Department offers full radiology services (with the exception of nuclear medicine)

Clinical Support Services – Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Radiology, Social Work, Dietetics and Occupational Health


Northland is New Zealand’s northern most region and the first one to be settled by Polynesians and Europeans. Northland and especially the Bay of Islands is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, offering an abundance of ancient forests, historical sites and world class beaches – there are over 100 beaches in Whangarei District alone.

Northland is also home to giant sand dunes and Kauri trees, an exciting wildlife, huge areas of green and productive farmland and fruit orchards, on the West coast one beach alone is 110 kilometre long, all set between big city Auckland and the magic of Cape Reinga.

The beautiful landscape and coastline is the result of a very interesting combination of extinct volcanoes, raised sea floor with limestone formations and ancient Gondwana rock.

Northland has the highest average annual temperature in New Zealand, but it is never extreme. In summer, day temperatures range between 22°C and 26°C while in winter night-time minimums may drop to around 7°C. Light frosts are possible in sheltered areas but are not common and snow is unheard of in low regions.

Annual sunshine hours average about 2,000 in the region, often rain showers mixed with sunshine. Annual rainfall is around 1,500 – 2,000 mm, but approximately one-third of that falls in the winter months of June, July and August.

With a land area of 13,789 km² it is just a bit smaller than Connecticut but bigger than any county in the UK.