Rotorua Hospital - Emergency Department

Emergency Department (ED) - Rotorua Hospital.  

Rotorua ED is a 34-bed facility, that includes three resuscitation areas, 5 monitored spaces,17 acute cubicle spaces (including 4 dedicated paediatric rooms) and a 6 bed clinical decision unit. There are dedicated procedure rooms for performing ear, nose and throat, ophthalmology, gynaecology, orthopaedic and general procedures. There is also 24 hour access to radiology services, laboratory and blood bank facilities. Approximately 35,000 patients a year through Rotorua Emergency Department.

The ED staff are a dedicated team of Doctors and Nurses who specialise in Emergency Medicine. Most patients who attend ED are typically discharged home after receiving treatment. Other specialty teams (orthopaedics, surgical and medical) also work out of ED when a patient needs their specialist expertise or when they need to be admitted to a hospital bed, of when a GP refers a patient to a particular specialty they will be seen by that specialty within ED.


The Emergency Department comes under the Emergency and Medical Management Service at Lakes DHB;


Service Manager – Jenny Martelli

Clinical Director and Head of Department - Dr Peter Freeman

Clinical Nurse Director - Christine Payne

Clinical Nurse Manager - Kaidee Hesford

Lead Administrator - Johanna Marsden




The Rotorua Hospital Emergency Department can be a very busy place.  By knowing how it works can make your visit easier. 

The Emergency Department is for the treatment of medical emergencies and less urgent cases when alternative care is not available. Your GP is better for non-urgent health matters and on going treatment.

When you arrive;
The first person you see is a nurse who will assess your immediate health needs. 

The triage nurse may start your treatment or arrange tests.  This can help to determine which other members of the health care team you need to see.

More serious cases are given priority, even if they arrive after you, but you will be treated in the shortest time possible.  All patients, even those arriving by ambulance are assessed this way.

Patients are assigned a Triage code:
Triage 1 : Life threatening e.g. cardiac arrest, major trauma. 
Triage 2 : Emergency e.g. chest pain etc.

Triage 3 : Urgent e.g. bad injuries, appendicitis etc. 
Triage 4 : Semi-urgent.  
Triage 5 : Non-urgent e.g. minor strains or sprains which could be treated by a GP / primary healthcare organisation. 


While you wait;
If you start to feel worse please let the triage nurse or receptionist know.

You may be asked to wait in the waiting area or in a treatment cubicle.  While you wait, hospital staff will try to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.  

If you need to leave the waiting area make sure you let staff know, and ask them before you eat or drinking anything as it may affect your treatment.

St John Friends of the Emergency Department (FEDs) support the work of our staff by providing assistance and reassurance to patients.  They offer a listening ear and practical help with tasks like phone calls.  They will ensure you are warm and comfortable.

You are entitled to have a support person with you.  We ask that you limit this to two people while you are in the Emergency Department.

Waiting can be frustrating, but for everyone's comfort and safety, please treat others with respect.  

Remember hospital staff are here to help you


New Zealand citizens or those who have obtained permanent residence are entitled to publicly funded health care.

Non-residents may be required to pay for their health care.


Eligibility - click here.


Referral Expectations;

On arrival at the Emergency Department you are seen by a triage nurse who assesses your condition. Depending on your condition, you may be seen immediately or you may be asked to wait in the waiting room.

You may need to have clinical tests such as a blood test, an x-ray, or a CT scan. If this happens then you might need to wait for the results of these tests before the healthcare team can continue your treatment.  Your treatment plan may include admission to an inpatient ward.  This will be arranged for you.

Throughout your treatment, your privacy and treatment will always be respected.  If  you have any concerns please let staff know.

Members of our Maori health team (Te Aka Matua), are available to offer support.  If you require their services please let staff know.


When your discharged from the Emergency Department use the following check list.
.  collect all your personal belongings including medications and medical documents
.  ask for a medical certificate if you need one
.  a member of your treatment team may give you a letter explaining your situation to help your GP continue your care.  Put it in a safe place, you may need to take this to your GP.

Remember staff are here to help you.  Ask for help if you need it.

Further treatment;

If you have any further questions about your care you can contact your GP.
For free health advice from a Registered Nurse you can call HEALTHLINE on 0800 611 116