History

We’ve been with you from the start.

A hospital was first established on the Tainui Street site in 1924 by Nettie Neilson who used the building as a maternity hospital. Frances Young, a nursing sister, changed the name from ‘Tirohia’ to ‘Braemar’ in 1926 and converted it to a medical and surgical hospital.

In 1931 Young purchased an adjoining section and built a maternity home known as ‘Waione’ on that piece of land. As demand for private maternity homes declined, ‘Waione’ was converted to a nurses’ home serving Braemar Hospital.

Young ran Braemar until April 1935 when she retired after leasing the hospital to Sisters Smith and Barrett. Te Kirihaehae Tu Puea Hērangi (Princess Te Puea) CBE presented a patu to Sister Frances Young in the late 1940s in appreciation of the care she received at Braemar Hospital. The patu remains on display in the hospital foyer today.

hospital medications

In 1946 Young had decided to sell Braemar to a boarding-house keeper, this meant the potential loss of a private surgical facility for doctors excluded from operating at Waikato Hospital. At that stage Waikato Hospital was ‘closed’ to general practitioners who wished to operate on their patients. Their concern led to a decision by three doctors to lease the building from Young and form the ‘Braemar Hospital Company’ in 1946. Those three doctors were Edward Cecil Brewis, Duncan Mcdiarmid and William Fea.

By 1954 the doctors were discussing the possibility of buying the property from Sister Young, who had signalled her intention to sell when the lease expired.

By 1963 Braemar had begun again, and a price of 25,000 pounds was eventually agreed.

In 1966 the water tower was demolished and the land was subsequently purchased by Braemar from the council in 1969. The water tower had dominated the Hamilton skyline for 55 years.

In 1970 Braemar Hospital Ltd resolved to transfer to the Braemar Hospital Charitable Trust all of the assets of the company on the condition that the hospital operate as a charitable trust.

Under the guidance of the Braemar Hospital Charitable Trust the hospital continued to grow adding new theatres, wards and services.

In 2001 the trust became known as the Braemar Charitable Trust.

To cope with an ever-increasing demand for its services a new day hospital was opened in Knox Street in August 2001.

In August 2005 an agreement was reached with The Salvation Army to purchase ‘The Nest’ site on the corner of Ohaupo Road and Kahikatea Drive.

The land and buildings at Tainui Street were sold to the Cancer Society in 2007 and leased back from the society until the new hospital at Ohaupo Road was ready for occupation.

The new hospital opened to patients on 14 April 2009 and was officially opened on 8 August 2009 by Mrs Mary Clarkson.

The Braemar Day Hospital on Knox Street merged with the main hospital on Ohaupo Road and the new extension was officially opened by David and John Young (sons of Braemar founder) on 28 September 2012.

In 2019 a purpose built theatre for cardiac and spinal surgery was added along with an education room and additional storage. This extension was officially opened by Bob Armstrong (MNZM, JP) and Barry Prior (MNZM, JP) on 3 May 2019. Both are past trustees of the Braemar Charitable Trust.

Braemar Hospital is one of the largest private hospitals in New Zealand offering a comprehensive range of Specialist services.

Braemar Hospital Ltd is 100% owned by the Braemar Charitable Trust.

Our Executive Team

Fiona Michel (she/her) MBA, CMInstD GAICD, FCPHR

Chief Executive Officer

Fiona is a seasoned business executive who has worked across a range of large public and private sector organisations, in New Zealand and overseas.  She also holds governance roles; as an Independent Director in the dairying sector and a Non-Executive Director on the professional industry body for Human Resources in Australia.

Fiona holds a Master of Business Administration and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. She is a Chartered and Graduate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and was a finalist in the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards in 2021.

Fiona, her husband David and son Jonathan own a small lifestyle block in Raglan, that she describes as a ‘bach with vegetables’.

Pru Sheahan (she/her) Registered Nurse DipN, PGCert Advanced Clinical Assessment

General Manager Clinical Services

Pru is a registered nurse with more than 25 years’ experience across perioperative private and public healthcare sectors in New Zealand.  With two decades of tenure at Braemar she has held a number of senior management roles with a focus on developing high performing teams, clinical performance improvement and ensuring health services are delivered to meet the needs of specialists and patients.

Pru is known for her leadership style as being focused, down to earth, approachable and sincere. Pru is very proud of the services Braemar delivers and believes Braemar has many points of difference which makes the organisation so successful.  Pru is accountable for Patient Services, Theatres, Clinical Quality & Risk, Pre-Admission, Clinical Education, Specialist Relationships and Clinical Relationships.

Pru grew up in Cambridge and spends her time away from work with her family enjoying nature and horses.

Rachelle Stoddart (she/her) BMS, CA

Chief Financial Officer

Rachelle has extensive financial leadership experience gained working in chartered accounting practices, commercial and not for profit organisations. At Braemar, she leads the finance, information technology, administration and hospitality teams. Rachelle is a Chartered Accountant with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Rachelle lives in Cambridge with her husband, Mark, and two teenage children. Much of her time away from work is spent supporting her family in their music and sporting activities.

Anna King (she/her) BSocSc

General Manager People & Safety

Anna joined Braemar Hospital in 2022 as the General Manager People and Safety.  Anna has worked in strategic business partnering and lead employment relations roles across a range of sectors and business models having had exposure to both New Zealand and international employment frameworks.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Social Science with a double major in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, and Psychology from the University of Waikato, which is a fitting qualification given Anna’s well-refined skill in successfully balancing HR process and structure, and people.

Anna grew up in a small South Island town, and spent time living in various parts of the North Island until she came across the Waikato.  Anna and her family are now very well-established in Hamilton city.

Our Board

Graeme Milne ONZM
Chair

Renae Smart
Independent Director

Bella Takiari-Brame
Independent Director

John Clarkson
MB ChB 1989 Otago, FRACS (Otol) 2002

Director

Brian Whitley
BDS, MDS, FRACDS (OMS), FICD

Director

Katie Ayers
BDS, MDS, PhD, PGDip

Director

Glen Devcich
MB ChB 1993 Otago; FRACS (Urol) 2004

Director

Our Shareholder