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Dairy Goat Co-operative Trust donation benefits babies at Waikato Hospital

Waikato Hospital’s NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) will have a new Giraffe Warmer unit for their pre-term babies thanks to a donation from the Dairy Goat Co-operative Trust.

Womens & Child Health service manager Christine Woolerton said “one hundred of the sickest children in NICU will benefit from this new piece of equipment over the next 12 months. This generous donation of $23,100 will make a big difference for us. Transporting a pre-term NICU baby, that is connected to equipment, is quite a challenge and this unit will make it so much easier for us,” Christine added.

The new Giraffe warmer is highly portable and easier to move around than previous models, enabling NICU to transport babies to the operating theatre or collect babies from the emergency department, which is quite a distance from NICU. Giraffe warmers are used for pre-term or late pre-term babies. They provide a high tech healing environment that is warm and comfortable, with easy access and visibility for parents and staff.

Dairy Goat Co-operative Trust chairperson Nicola Locke was delighted to be handing over the funds. The Trust, which has been operating since November 2017, serves a similar geographic area to NICU. They chose to donate to NICU after one of the Trust members read a NICU flier seeking contributions.

“It has been our pleasure to donate this piece of valuable equipment to NICU. The Trust and the Dairy Goat Co-operative are committed to nourishing and caring for families and future generations. This donation fits well with our purpose and will deliver real benefits to the local and wider community,” said Nicola.


Waikato Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) services a large rural population from Taranaki through to Gisborne and up to Thames. The Unit has 41 cots catering for infants from within the Waikato DHB geographical region and sometimes for babies out of the region (who require more than normal well baby care).

Average length of stay ranges from a few hours for term babies up to six months plus for extremely premature infants who may be born as early as 23 weeks gestation. Babies generally go home when they are due to be born (e.g. if born 36 weeks gestation they will go home generally after four weeks).

NICU stats –

  • 900 admissions a year
  • 90 of those babies are emergency retrievals
  • 20% come from Hamilton and the rest come from the region hence we are very much a rural service.


The Dairy Goat Co-operative Trust was established in 2017 with the aim of strengthening shareholder communities through charitable donations which nourish and care for future generations.

The Trust’s primary source of funding is its farmer shareholders, supplemented by smaller contributions from fund raising events involving Dairy Goat Cooperative staff, shareholders and goods/services providers. Funding is focused on organisations in shareholder regions, ie Northland, Taranaki and Waikato, which aim to improve the health, education and welfare of children. Trust fund recipients are identified by the Trustees and its contributors.

Photograph: L-R Michelle Sutherland, Director, Women’s and Children’s Health, Waikato District Health Board Nicola Locke, Chairperson, Dairy Goat Co-operative Trust Chantelle Hill |Charge Nurse Manager NICU Christine Woolerton Service Manager – Womens & Child Health Waikato Hospital Louise Tolenaars, Secretary Dairy Goat Co-operative Trust  

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