The redevelopment at Taranaki Base Hospital has been a success, but plans to upgrade other areas of the hospital remain on hold.
Financial constraints mean stage two, which included a revamped maternity ward and stage three, which involved the outpatients area, are unlikely to happen before the end of the decade.
By 2007 the Taranaki DHB had developed a vision for the hospital, but it was never going to be feasible to achieve the whole plan in one project, chief executive Tony Foulkes said.
"The reason we did . . . the broader vision, is because we need to make sure that whatever we do now is going to be able to connect into what might be done in the future . . ."
They were standalone projects but linked together to be part of a coherent whole, he said.
No detailed business cases have been written for any future development. "For these to stack up would depend on affordability, which is unlikely before the end of the decade. But this can be looked at in the coming years."
The DHB would need to work out its finances, and also work with the National Health Board and Ministry of Health, he said.
The current redevelopment was going extremely well, with patients benefiting from a new supreme environment, Mr Foulkes said.
The project is on time, on budget and expected to be completed early next year.