Murals that have brightened the visits of countless children
to Dunedin Hospital's inpatient paediatric ward face an
Painted by the late artist John Noakes in the 1980s, the
colourful depictions of all manner of characters cover the
four levels of the Children's Pavilion.
The inpatient paediatric ward will shift to a new co-located
neonatal intensive care unit-paediatric ward in the
hospital's main block, in December.
Southern District Health Board management is yet to decide
what services, if any, will be moved into the vacant two
However, health board chief executive Carole Heatly, who is a
member of the board's art advisory committee, said she hoped
to save the murals in their entirety, even if parts had to be
She welcomed feedback from the public. Murals on the ground
and top floors were unaffected, as the paediatric
outpatients' service and an academic paediatric unit were
Art committee member Barbara Brinsley said if the murals did
have to go, she would like to ensure a proper photographic
and video record was made. Photographs could be made into
postcards as keepsakes.
Mr Noakes' widow, Jennepher, said she would like them to be
saved, but accepted it might not be possible.
She visited the pavilion last week and pointed out some of
her favourite depictions, including characters from The
Wizard of Oz, and a whimsical self-portrait of the
Her husband worked full-time on the mural for more than a
year, she said.