Health Minister David Clark has announced that the new Dunedin hospital will be partially be built on the site of the old Cadbury factory.
It is estimated the rebuild will cost $1.4 billion. The Cadbury factory closed in March after moving production offshore.
The Cadbury site was expected to be announced as the location. The size of the rebuild means the Government has few other options.
The site was chosen to maintain the compact and central nature of Dunedin’s health and education facilities while giving flexibility for the final design and allowing for further development later. Clark’s office said the Government was in negotiations with the owners of the Cadbury site and had begun the process of purchasing the city block next door to the North.
“The hospital will not only be the largest building in Dunedin but also one of the most complex and challenging construction projects ever seen in New Zealand,” Clark said.
“When construction is in full swing it will employ 1000 workers on site. Construction will start before the next election and we are working towards completion in 2026,” he said.
The Dunedin Hospital rebuild was a political talking point in the last election, with both National and Labour promising to build a new hospital. National had promised to utilise a Public-Private Partnership, while Labour pledged to fund the rebuild through core Government spending.
“We put in the HYEFU $42 billion set aside for the next five years for capital projects,” Clark said.
“We’ve said we don’t need private money in this particular operation," he said.
Treasury's 2018 Investment Statement, reported here on Newsroom Pro, found that hospital assets in the South Island were the most run-down in the country. Sixteen percent of hospital assets in the region are in ‘very poor’ condition and a further 9 percent in ‘poor’ condition, meaning a full quarter of hospital assets in the region are rated ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.