Topic: Sister Nancy Thompson

Topic type:

The history of the Kawerau Maternity Hospital and that of Sister Nancy Thompson are heavily intertwined.

Sister Nancy ThompsonSister Thompson was in charge of the maternity annex in Waterhouse St when it opened in 1956. Between 5 May 1956 and 21 October 1967 1117 boys, 1130 girls and 24 sets of twins were born under her watchful eye.

In 1967 the hospital moved to its new, permanent location on River Rd. Following the move Sister Thompson continued as the sister-in-charge and remained so until her retirement in 1973.

Not much is known about where Sister Thompson came from. We know she came to Kawerau from Whakatane Hospital and dedicated her life to maternity nursing. This was a career that took her far and wide with service in Australia, Fiji and the Gilbert and Ellice Islands as well as New Zealand.  She was a life member of the Polynesian Society and was heavily involved with the Whakatane and District Historical Society.

Described as a strong disciplinarian Sister Thompson was firm but true and ran the maternity hospital efficiently and effectively. The community of Kawerau was lucky to have such a dedicated woman in charge of the delivery of all those babies.

The Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum curated an exhibition on the Kawerau Maternity Hospitals September 2013 - March 2014.


Tradewinds magazine article "Wonderful new asset". Dec 1967
Journal of the Polynesian Society Vol 66, No. 4, Sept 1957, p459


Sister Nancy Thompson

First Names:Nancy
Last Name:Thompson