Dunedin Hospital Redevelopment

ODT Online public notice:


[SDHB media release]

Public forum chance to learn more about Dunedin Hospital facilities

Friday, 17 February 2017

The public is being given the opportunity to learn more about how Dunedin’s new hospital facilities might be configured at an event being held at the end of this month.

A public forum will be held on the evening of Tuesday 28 February to update interested members of the Dunedin community on the redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital.

“The public forum is an opportunity for people to get a better understanding of how we are deciding what facilities we need and where to deliver the best health outcomes for the Southern district. It will provide a great opportunity for people to understand the kinds of issues the team has to find answers for before the architects can complete their work, and the time frames involved in the design and building process,” Chair of the Southern Partnership Group Andrew Blair says.

The forum will include a presentation, followed by a question and answer session.

Southern DHB Commissioner Kathy Grant says the forum will give the community an opportunity to learn how the project is about more than just replacing buildings.

“We want to take this opportunity for members of the public to come along and get a better understanding of this exciting project and the opportunity it presents for developing facilities that can support a modern healthcare system capable of addressing the needs of the next 40-50 years.”

Further information on the project is available at: http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/hospital-redevelopment-projects/dunedin-hospital-redevelopment-project

Public forum details
Date: Tuesday 28 February
Time: 6-7pm
Location: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum, 419 Gt King Street, Dunedin

Media contact:
SPG Chair Andrew Blair
andrew @blairconsulting.co.nz


Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Health, Infrastructure, Media, New Zealand, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SDHB, Site

30 responses to “Dunedin Hospital Redevelopment

  1. Elizabeth


    At Facebook:

    Tue, 28 Feb 2017
    ODT: No time to consult on hospital: Blair
    By Eileen Goodwin
    There is not enough time to consult the public about the Dunedin Hospital rebuild, project chairman Andrew Blair says.
    No formal consultation process was planned for the $300million project, he confirmed ahead of a public information event at Otago Museum at 6pm today. “We’re not having a full-blown public consultation process because the timeframes simply don’t allow that.” Much had not been decided about the rebuild, but the public’s views were already known, Mr Blair said yesterday. The rebuild project group has not decided what to rebuild; most crucially, whether the ward block is up for replacement, or just the smaller clinical services building. Cont/

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    No time, yes, I believe that. No time, since the builders are signing on today, hard hats and nail belts gleaming, eager to start work at 7.30am tomorrow……
    …but wait, what’s this?
    “The rebuild project group has not decided what to rebuild; most crucially, whether the ward block is up for replacement, or just the smaller clinical services building.”

  3. Elizabeth

    The Public Forum last night was predictably All Downhill. Expect a downsized hospital that is not a Level 6 Tertiary Hospital. Expect more Outpatient services to be delivered (dare I say) “closer to your homes” but for which you will pay part charges (they said no, but it’s already happening as I now experience and not at part-charge rates, at full charges).

    They are concocting a reason to not build a Like for Like Hospital. They said they won’t do that. Nope, we have to think ‘out of the box’ as they screw with our minds – “the convenient report” arrived yesterday saying the Main Ward Block will need to be rebuilt or fully refurbished which of course they can’t afford and which ADDS MOMENTUM to the downsizing plan.

    There will be no Public Consultation BECAUSE oh hey they did all the consulting they needed to do back in March to May. They whittled 3500 submissions (some very detailed, of course) down to just THREE public expectations – they’re F’ing magicians – dry fish Kathy Grant told us:

    1. Travel Less
    2. Wait Less
    3. Care close to home
    [read another excuse to DOWNSIZE]

    But the repeated comment that the Central/Lakes district is GROWING and Dunedin is “static”, means we have to think that most of the Govt funding (see the $300m holding fund for the Southern ‘health services’ rebuild….not the ‘hospital rebuild’) will go into provision of health services in the Central/Lakes district – NOT Dunedin.

    God we love population based funding, don’t we.

    I made notes and successfully audio recorded the whole Forum fiasco.
    But let’s see what the ODT says. And the likes of David Clark (Labour MP for Dunedin North) who appears to have done his research.

    Love this piece of spite from the clown Andrew Blair, chair of the Southern Partnership Group:
    “We could do a fast hospital but we want an excellent hospital.”
    He said it again, using “a quick hospital”…. it’s still a stupid phrase in terms of the unwarranted delays.

    Really, he is saying NOTHING but thought that was a happy message to share (even if it’ll take 10 years).

    As Mr Clark effortlessly pointed out, the Australians can do a Level 6 Tertiary Hospital in 4 YEARS (from go to whoa)……. but we were TOLD we’re not going to get one of those (which we do expect as of right !!!). Blatant.

    They gave no site, no real figures, no scope for public consuiltation. We will get what they shovel at us – meanwhile, all their rich friends will earn fat project sums to deliver LESS HOSPITAL CARE and MORE EXPENSIVE USER PAYS (privatised health care is stepping up).

    The defence to make us go to sleep was the Crew saying they will deliver the same services as we get now except “differently” – given the number of Southern people on waiting lists BE WORRIED.


    Channel 39 Published on Feb 27, 2017
    Maxim figures offer somewhat gloomy forecast for Dunedin
    New figures just released by Maxim Institute show a mixed forecast for Dunedin’s population growth. A report by researcher Julian Wood shows while South Island centres such as Queenstown are set to expand, other areas including Southland are facing decline.

  4. Peter

    I thought Cr David Benson-Pope wrote a good OP in the ODT yesterday concerning the new hospital. He emphasised the importance of keeping the hospital centrally downtown and not in some far flung area at the edge of the city. The point about the interconnectedness of such a location, in terms of the university’s medical school and local retail and transport infrastructure to the hospital, was well put.

    • Sue

      Peter. Both you and Cr Benson-Pope have missed the most important ingredient for a new hospital. That being the view of the patient. Ask anybody who has been a patient at the public hospital and Mercy (a far flung location) as I have, and they will tell you that the public hospital with its continual State Highway noise, views of rusty roof tops, and helicopter noise 24/7 is not the environment for those most in need of good health care. Compared with Mercy’s beautiful park like settings, quietness. With specialists all at hand. This is the environment that the sick and unwell need, to give them the boost for recovery. It is about time that views of patients, rather that headline grabbing politicians were taken on board. As after all without them the hospital would not exist

      • Hype O'Thermia

        No Sue, “patients” will always exist, whether they get effective treatment in a hospital is another thing though.
        Dunedin Public Hospital, located in a quiet leafy location far from city noise, would be a sorry place for anyone who needed more than basic treatment. It’s highly trained medical and surgical specialists and their invaluable nurses and all the other highly trained and experienced staff are in little shrinking flat-broke Dunedin because of the Medical School, and the Medical School is in Dunedin because of them. Nice views and silence are great but if they are the most important things to a patient he/she is lucky, when I have been in hospital it was the expertise of the staff that mattered most.
        It is “headline grabbing politicians” that hold the future of our hospital in their hands. I wish this were not so. I wish they took into account need, ahead of where they can have the most popular impact. It ain’t like that though.

      • lyndon weggery

        I can agree with Sue as I have just emerged from Mercy Hospital after minor surgery. The difference between private and public is sadly disconcerting and the Mercy Hospital food is second to none. Compass is a disgrace and the thought came to me why can’t patient needs be similarly addressed in the Public Sector. The rot started in the early 1990s, and Jenny Shipley has a lot to answer for.

  5. Elizabeth

    Maxim Institute (NZ)

    Growing Beyond Growth: Rethinking the goals of regional development in New Zealand by Julian Wood (Economics paper)
    New Zealand is already feeling the effects of an oncoming wave of economic and demographic change. Over the next 30 years our main centres and areas close by will continue to grow, albeit with ageing populations. For the remainder of the country, the populations of 44 out of 67 Territorial Authorities will either stop growing or start to decline. If we do not attend to this divergence of economic and demographic outcomes, we risk opening the door to broader societal division between people and communities in growing areas and those in stagnation or decline.


    Get real about regional spending by Julian Wood (economics/blog)
    If you put people in a room and ask them how to bring growth to New Zealand’s regions, someone will always bring up special economic zones as a silver bullet solution. The three mayors of the Far North, Gisborne, and Rotorua Lakes Districts as part of a proposal to tackle poverty have proposed just this, calling them “demarcation zones.” After all, special economic zones worked so very well in Shenzhen and Zhuhai, so surely they should work here. Unfortunately, these three areas would all in one way or another fly in the face of international research into the success of special economic zones worldwide. The truth is that a lot of these special zones fail. They are quite problematic to get right. Zones can easily distort economic incentives, actually hinder overall economic development, and also because of a lack of transparency or accountability, be a way for self-seeking parties to spend a lot of money on their own interests. Cont/

  6. Elizabeth

    At Facebook [interesting photo]:

    Eileeen Goodwin is rather quiet…..

    Wed, 1 Mar 2017
    ODT: Frustration in audience at hospital rebuild meeting [+Video of David Clark and Andrew Blair]
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Public frustration over the delay-ridden Dunedin Hospital rebuild was evident at a meeting in Dunedin last night. About 120 people attended an information night organised by the Ministry of Health and Southern District Health Board at Otago Museum’s Hutton Theatre. Cont/

  7. Greta Good

    Alternative photo caption….from L to R….disinterested; disinterested; feigning interest; disinterested; experiencing pang of conscience.

  8. Elizabeth

    David Clark, Labour MP for Dunedin North
    took out a half page (page 2) in Wednesday’s ODT with this petition for you to sign:

    Rebuild Dunedin Hospital Petition

    You can also download the petition at this website:


  9. russandbev

    This so-called public forum follows the process created by the listening sessions where, as the sessions progressed, the speeches or presentations by the panel got longer and the opportunity to contribute got less. Words like “vague”, “drivel”, “rubbish” seem to sum up the forum. The problem has been identified in terms of the need for a rebuild, the issue is really one whereby the Government does not want to pay for a replacement on the scale that is currently in existence. They recognise that Dunedin is in population decline, they know that while the need to have good links with the University are essential, that it might be time to think about the wisdom of continuing having the Medical School in Dunedin. I wouldn’t mind betting that discussions have been held about a shift north for the school. After all, why bring hundreds and hundreds of Health Science students from the North Island when they could stay near their homes?

    The regions are not important to the National Party – their voting base is in Auckland and the agricultural sector. Just pause for a bit and think just why would the funders for a replacement hospital not think that it would be a good idea to shift the medical school. Such discussions would not involve the University of Otago who would fight any shift tooth and nail, but a hospital rebuild funded only to the level required by the current and projected population would be an interesting step along the way….

  10. Elizabeth

    University of Otago through its COO (chief operating officer) Stephen Willis told the public forum that the university was happy with engagement with the SPG (Southern Partnership Group). He was about as believable as forum speakers Ms Grant, Mr Blair and Mr Fleming
    [his profile: http://www.otago.ac.nz/otagobulletin/people/otago517001.html ].

    The University of Otago already has medical school ‘campuses’ (buildings and presence) at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. No skin off its nose if the Government helps part-fund their ‘centralisation’ on a population basis.

    ODT 1.3.17, To the point (page 12) tweaked


  11. Elizabeth

    As heard from the SPG’s Andrew Blair at the Forum, the new Dunedin ‘hospital’ will be completed at the earliest in 2022 and at the latest 2025.

    At Facebook:

  12. Elizabeth

    Only this week SPG chairman Andrew Blair said there was no time to consult the public about the rebuild.

    Sat, 4 Mar 2017
    ODT Editorial: More questions than answers
    OPINION Dunedinites and the southern public are in something of a quandary. On the one hand, people want to have confidence in the Government appointees tasked with running our district health board in the absence of publicly elected members …. they simply want to be reassured that when they most need help for themselves or their loved ones, timely, reliable and quality healthcare will be available close at hand. On the other hand, the more such reassurances are desired, and the less forthcoming the response from authorities, the more the frustration and anxiety builds. There was public interest and expectation ahead of this week’s public meeting on the hospital rebuild …. The forum was the first time the public had been invited to hear specifically from those planning the rebuild. Attendees were seeking details about fundamental aspects of the project, which has been beset by delays.  But critical aspects of the rebuild (cost, size, composition, status and location) are still unclear — or undisclosed …. Issues of transparency are at the fore …. The public does wonder what is not being disclosed, and information once routinely provided is now harder to access …. Southern Partnership Group chairman Andrew Blair has said it is too soon in the rebuild project to discuss “site-specific options”, yet only this week said there was no time to consult the public about the rebuild. said the board had consulted the public extensively and knew what it wanted.
    What is the public supposed to believe? Cont/

  13. Elizabeth

    Australian examples show that from the start of the planning stage, an entire hospital of Dunedin’s size can be built in four years with a fine result, writes Dunedin North MP David Clark. (ODT)

    Politicians of all stripes agree that a Dunedin Hospital rebuild needs to happen, but unfortunately the current Government has been dragging its feet on committing to timeframes and capital. Their representatives have argued that careful planning, to future-proof the hospital, has caused delay. This is rot.

    Mon, 6 Mar 2017
    ODT: Rebuild far too slow
    By David Clark
    OPINION Frustration was evident at last Tuesday’s public meeting held to discuss delays on the Dunedin Hospital rebuild project.  Fair enough — I was frustrated too. The meeting had an inauspicious start. Chairman of the rebuild group Andrew Blair began the meeting by demonstrating that he wasn’t familiar with the names of two of his group’s five members. The group was established in 2015. This very public gaffe gave credence to the prevailing view that the partnership group doesn’t meet often enough, and thus lacks the urgency required.

    At the public meeting, we were told that the partnership group is one and a-half years into a process that could take 10 years.

    Years have passed since I started questioning the Government’s commitment to the timely rebuild of Dunedin Hospital. Before the 2014 general election, I asked then minister of health Tony Ryall when a decision would be made about the Dunedin Hospital rebuild. He said he expected the issue to be decided when a business case went to Cabinet towards the end of the year. To date, no business case has been produced. Unbelievably, the promise of a full business case is now further away than it was in 2014 — when I first grew concerned about delays. This week we were told that Dunedin people should expect an “initial business case” mid-year this year, and a fuller business case in mid-2018. That is simply not good enough. Cont/

  14. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:


    Fri, 10 Mar 2017
    ODT: Capital charges review may have implications for hospital rebuild
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Change is on the cards for the way health boards pay for new hospitals, which may have big implications for the cash-strapped Southern District Health Board. A high-level review is under way of capital charges, which are interest payments on the Crown finance provided for hospital builds. The annual payments can hamstring DHBs financially. In a paper released under the Official Information Act, officials blame the long delay in rebuilding Dunedin Hospital on the capital charge regime. Designed to impose financial discipline, they made boards wary of building new hospitals because of cost.
    Southern DHB’s new Dunedin Hospital will cost at least $300 million, which under the present system would incur a charge of about $40 million a year, diminishing over time. SDHB chief executive Chris Fleming said he hoped the review would make the build more affordable. Cont/

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Oh terrific, a review. Another delay. How much longer can they dither?

  16. Elizabeth

    The bull**** about the Ward Block stated by Andrew Blair (chairman, Southern Partnership Group) at the Dunedin Hospital Redevelopment public forum on 28 February is now repeated in the ODT.

    A recent structural assessment of the ward block is understood to have indicated that refurbishing it is not economically viable.

    Sat, 11 Mar 2017
    ODT: ICU/HDU rebuild pushed back again
    By Eileen Goodwin
    A planned intensive care unit/high dependency unit at Dunedin Hospital might only be open about four years before it is replaced in a new hospital. The $11million project has been repeatedly delayed. The facility was supposed to open early next year, but its completion has been pushed back again, the Southern District Health Board confirmed. The project was mooted in 2014 after the shock loss of intensive care training accreditation which was partly caused by the facility being out of date. […] A new hospital will be completed between 2022 and 2025. The ICU/HDU is in the ward block, the biggest hospital building. Even if the ward block is not replaced in the $300million rebuild — a detail which has not been confirmed — the ICU/HDU was likely to be rebuilt in a new building, to ensure it is close to related departments. Cont/

    *our emphasis

  17. Elizabeth

    Comment relocated from another thread, relevance. -Eds

    Rob Hamlin
    2017/03/20 at 10:47 am

    Can anybody tell me why the Council is taking the stance that moving the hospital to Wakari will be so absolutely dreadful. Here are few reasons why it might be a good thing:
    1) A bigger & better hospital for the (presumably fixed) budget due to extra space and reduced cost of rebuilding on the present site which has not a sweety paper’s worth of room to spare.
    2) Reduced disruption while building.
    3) Better vehicle/ambulance access from pretty much all directions. The one-way jams up solid in the rush hour now. Vehicles standing on these roads at present can wriggle aside for ambulances to get though – but after the cycleways go in?
    4) Better parking for patients and visitors.
    5) A ground level helicopter pad – every time a chopper comes in at the present rooftop one in the dark/in a high wind or both – we roll the dice that may lead to flaming wreckage being strewn around the City Centre.
    6) Opportunity for further expansion/ancillary buildings.
    7) A quieter/healthier environment
    These all add up to a compelling medical based case for moving it. I am wondering whether we are dealing with other non-medical agendas here. I wonder if investments have been made in land etc by various parties, around the hospital – particularly in the North Westerly direction, and that the profitability of these investments/plans may be disadvantaged by any such move. I suppose one has to ask is: is the site selection priority to cure people who visit the hospital or to reward speculation and/or to sell them sandwiches?
    When I lived in Oxford, the Radcliffe Hospital was moved from its central site just to the North of the University area to a new John Radcliffe location on the outskirts of town, relatively further out than Wakari – I observed no collapse of either local medical services or the University’s medical school that could be associated with this move.


    More about the Wakari Hospital site with aerial photos at this post:

    █ 18.12.16 DCC set to take away CBD car parks without Economic Impact research

  18. Elizabeth

    At Twitter:

    At Facebook:

  19. Elizabeth

    Sound opinion piece from Sir David Skegg.

    Tue, 21 Mar 2017
    ODT: Partnership crucial to our hospital’s future
    By David Skegg
    OPINION …..Dunedin is a university city with a medical school of national and international significance. While the modest population of southern New Zealand restricts some clinical activities, that limitation can be counterbalanced by the close integration of Dunedin Hospital with medical science departments and with the rest of the University of Otago. The relationship with the medical school has enabled Dunedin Hospital, over more than a century, to attract clinical specialists who would not normally be found in a provincial centre. That has benefited patients across the whole southern region …. [Rumours] that the whole hospital might be moved to a different site (such as the land at Wakari Hospital), are deeply troubling. Not only would this disrupt the vital relationship between the hospital and medical school, but it would also mean abandoning a major facility (the ward block) which is clearly capable of being remodelled and refurbished. Cont/

  20. Elizabeth

    At facebook:

    FB comments – excerpt:

    Tracey Mains We had no power in Fairfield on Monday , when I rung them up they said it was a planned power cut and I should of got a letter. Nope- no letter. And why do it on a public holiday. Had I got the letter i would of planned better. I was totally peed off.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs · Edited

    Ian Kraack That sounds suspiciously like a desperate “explanation” from an incompetent company…
    Like · Reply · 5 hrs”


    Wed, 22 Mar 2017
    ODT: Fix saves radiology from having to shift
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Dunedin Hospital’s radiology department would have had to shift to a temporary location for several years if a work-around had not been found, information released under the Official Information Act shows. Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming told the Otago Daily Times the department was able to stay. “Our building and property team has found an effective solution and radiology services does not have to relocate,” he said. If it had had to shift, it would have been to a temporary location until a new hospital was completed some time from 2022 to 2025.
    ….Radiology is on the first floor of the clinical services building […] a new air-handling system would be retrofitted below the ceiling. Work was yet to start and it would be carried out after-hours to minimise disruption. Cont/

  21. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  22. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:


    Thu, 23 Mar 2017
    ODT: Two petitions call for hospital rebuild to start
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Dunedin North MP David Clark took two Dunedin Hospital rebuild petitions to Parliament yesterday. The first had gathered 3350 signatures, and the second, an online petition, amassed more than 4800. “The petition calling on the Government to begin the Dunedin Hospital rebuild before the election is the most important because it is paper-based, and unlike online petitions convention requires that it be referred to and properly considered by a parliamentary select committee,” Dr Clark said. Cont/

  23. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  24. Elizabeth

    Tue, 2 May 2017
    ODT: Firm drafted by ministry
    By Eileen Goodwin
    A project director who has worked on large hospital builds has been drafted in to the Dunedin Hospital redevelopment to help with a crucial decision. Christchurch consultant Bryan Spinks’ firm Proj X has been hired by the Ministry of Health to work on the Dunedin development, critical projects director Michael Hundleby confirmed in a statement. Mr Hundleby’s response did not explain why Mr Spinks was hired when the ministry has already engaged a host of other consulting firms. The Otago Daily Times understands it is to help with the crucial decision about whether to keep or scrap the ward block, the biggest hospital building. If replaced, the project assumes a bigger scale. If kept, it must be refurbished to a suitable standard to flow into a new clinical services block, the ODT understands. The ministry and its consultants are weighing up the costs and logistical difficulties of both options. Cont/

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