Our history


Bowen’s long-standing tradition of caring dates back to 1912 when the original hospital in Bowen Street (opposite Parliament) was built by the late Dr W E Herbert, who operated the hospital with Dr H Hardwick-Smith.

On Dr Herbert’s death in 1933, the land and buildings were sold to the Government and leased by a group of doctors. In 1965 the Government served notice that it required the land and, as a result, the doctors donated their assets to the Bowen Hospital Charitable Trust.

The present site, with its tranquil surroundings and easy access from all directions, was selected for the establishment of a modern, architecturally designed surgical hospital.

In 1999, the hospital became Bowen Hospital Limited, a company jointly owned by the Bowen Hospital Charitable Trust and a group of medical practitioners.

In April 2003, the hospital was acquired by Wakefield Hospital Limited, a listed public company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

In August 2005, Wakefield Health Limited was established, with Bowen and Wakefield Hospitals as wholly owned subsidiaries. In January 2006, Wakefield Health merged with Royston Hospital in Hastings.

A major redevelopment of the Bowen Hospital campus commenced in late 2009 with the construction of the “Bowen Centre” which was completed in December 2010 and houses new consulting, radiology and endoscopy facilities.  The next phase, completed in January 2012, includes a new 5-theatre digital operating suite (3 theatres fitted out to date). These i-suites are not only the most advanced theatres in NZ but arguably the most modern innovative theatres currently in Australasia. The last phase, completed in 2012, provides for 2nd stage recovery, a patient admit area and related facilities. The completed project, in its unique location overlooking the Ngaio Gorge, offers Bowen Hospital and the surgical teams that operate here the ability to provide exceptional results and care to their patients.

Wakefield Health Limited changed its name to Acurity Health Group Limited in August 2012 to better reflect its own unique identity as owner of three private surgical hospitals and its investment in other health related organisations across the country.

In December 2015, Evolution Healthcare (a privately owned Australian and New Zealand private hospital operator) acquired 100% of Acurity Health Group Ltd (NZ). Evolution Healthcare will continue to focus on supporting staff and VMO engagement.