Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae had to stop at a specialist medical centre as he whistled through Whangarei to his pre-Waitangi Day obligations.
The visit on Saturday was not because of ill-health, but so Sir Jerry and his wife Lady Janine could officially open the Cottage Hospital, a museum featuring a collection of old medical equipment and memorabilia.
An iron lung, an entire outmoded operating theatre, a skeleton and other body parts, old anaesthesia equipment and a range of instruments resembling engineering rather than medical tools are among the collection in the Cottage Hospital, in the Kiwi North and Heritage Park museum complex in Maunu. The equipment was collected from Northland hospitals, as well as donations from GPs.
The museum was founded by Whangarei Hospital's senior anaesthetist, John Swinney. With items collected over a period of 35 years, the collection first went on display in 2001 to mark Whangarei Hospital's centenary. The Northland Medical Museum Trust Board was formed the next year. The collection was curated for several years by Liz Matthews, who exhibited the items at Whangarei Hospital