Tokanui Psychiatric Hospital

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search
Tokanui Psychiatric Hospital
Opened 1912
Closed 1997
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Awamtu, NZ
Alternate Names
  • Tokanui Mental Hospital


Tokanui psychiatric hospital opened in 1912 with a few patients transferred from Porirua Hospital (near Wellington), and grew rapidly. In the 1960s Tokanui was one of the largest such institutions in New Zealand, with more than 1,200 patients and hundreds of staff. Praised for its innovative therapy programs but criticized for overcrowding, Tokanui closed in 1997 as part of a government policy to abolish large psychiatric institutions. That year the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre, a mental health unit at Waikato Hospital, opened.


There is a cemetery on the old hospital farm which contains the remains of over 500 patients, both Maori and European, buried there between 1912 and 1968. After this time pauper patients were buried in the local Te Awamutu cemetery. The farm is now run by Ministry of Agriculture, and there is a Memorial stone at the cemetery site



The following video was created by New Zealand's One TV, a news station, on the hospital and was uploaded to Youtube by TATV. It focuses on the hospital's abandoned state in a larger picture of government owned abandoned buildings spread across the island.