Site Notice #DunedinHospital

This afternoon David Benson-Pope requested an unreserved apology from the website owner following publication of an image and various comments at a now deleted post concerning the Save Our Hospital campaign that was highlighted in a newspaper story published on 25 March 2017.

The website owner unreservedly apologises to Mr Benson-Pope for the publication of this material and any resulting discomfort or distress it may have caused.

An apology will be emailed to Mr Benson-Pope shortly, copy Sandy Graham, DCC.

Elizabeth Kerr
Site Owner


### ODT Online Sat, 25 Mar 2017
Woodhouse blasts DCC
By Eileen Goodwin
National list MP Michael Woodhouse has lashed out at the Dunedin City Council over its hospital rebuild campaign, implying it is a front for the Labour Party. And Mr Woodhouse said the council’s stance was “confusing” — on the one hand it wants a central city rebuild, but it granted the Accident Compensation Corporation the right to consider buying the Frederick St car park. ACC has a 12-month timeframe to look at development options for the site. […] Mr Woodhouse is also ACC Minister, and he made it clear he was speaking as a local MP.
Read more


Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Health, Hospital, Infrastructure, Leading edge, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Project management, Property, Public interest, SDHB, Site, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

21 responses to “Site Notice #DunedinHospital

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    “Mr Woodhouse is also ACC Minister, and he made it clear he was speaking as a local MP.”
    I think he’s confused. He may be a local person – he lived and worked in Dunedin for a long time – but his role is not “local MP” as this implies that he was elected to represent the Dunedin region.
    He was not.
    As a list MP he was elected to represent the National Party, they chose him and they gave him a high enough position on the list so that if there were enough Party votes (which there were) he would become a Member of Parliament.
    The farthest this could be stretched is “he was elected to represent the National Party which was elected to represent the whole of NZ”.

    I am surprised that he doesn’t “get” the difference.

  2. Elizabeth

    [click to enlarge]
    DCC campaign flyer delivered to households end of last week.

  3. Sorry I was too slow to see it!

    From: “What if? Dunedin…” Reply-To: “What if? Dunedin…” Date: Monday, 27 March 2017 at 4:43 PM To: Lee Vandervis Subject: [New post] Site Notice

    Elizabeth posted: “This afternoon David Benson-Pope requested an unreserved apology from the website owner following publication of an image and various comments at a now deleted post concerning the Save Our Hospital campaign that was highlighted in a newspaper story publis”

  4. Sanctuary Much

    Blimey, you’re a goer. Facebook went ‘gulp’.

  5. Elizabeth

    Excellent Opinion Piece with GREAT STATS

    The place of the Dunedin Medical School in the planning of the rebuilding of Dunedin Hospital is vital, writes Prof David Jones.

    Mon, 27 Mar 2017
    ODT: Medical School vital to hospital rebuild
    By Prof David Jones
    OPINION It is essential the planning for the rebuilding of the Dunedin Hospital takes into account the importance the University of Otago and the Dunedin Medical School. The future of these key institutions are inextricably linked and are vital to the future prosperity of our city. The currently held attitude of those involved in the planning process appears to be that the teaching of medicine and the Medical School in Dunedin are little more than an impediment that constitutes a drain on the health budget. This has to be of grave concern and cannot be allowed to prevail. The University of Otago constitutes by far the biggest and most important business activity in our city. The future of Dunedin depends heavily on its continued international standing, success and viability. Cont/

    • Calvin Oaten

      But hey! This rebuild has been in the field for a few years now, yet the bureaucrats are still dithering over details, nothing to do with the obvious as detailed so eminently by Prof David Jones, a man entirely devoted to the merits of the hospital and its relationship to the Otago University’s Medical School and its learning facilities. The difference is that bureaucrats and politicians have this inexhaustible ability to lose the plot. Just look at the abysmal performance of Steven Joyce in his handling of the Invermay Research Facility at Mosgiel, a fully supported adjunct of the Otago University. The appalling decision of the Mayor and council to give a right to ACC over the Frederick St Carpark site. Sooner or later we will get a new hospital, like as not it will be in Lawrence or Kaitangita. No sense will be seen but the decision will be made, not by medical people, but bureaucrats and politicians, without a vested interest in Dunedin’s welfare at all.

  6. Gurglars

    Why would any government listen to a local administration with the appalling record of the DCC?

    I would say that any actions recommended by the DCC would be like a poison pen letter to any government whether National or Labour.

  7. Elizabeth

    I agree with the considered opinions of Crs Vandervis, Lord and Hall.

    At Facebook:


    Cr Vandervis responded in a statement by email last week, saying he would not attend any part of the [SOS] campaign because it was “ill-considered”.

    Tue, 28 Mar 2017
    ODT: Concern campaign could backfire
    By David Loughrey
    Three Dunedin city councillors who opposed the council’s campaign to keep Dunedin Hospital in the central city say the initiative could backfire. Crs Lee Vandervis, Mike Lord and Doug Hall, who voted against Cr David Benson-Pope’s resolution last month calling for a hospital rebuild in the central city, say the council’s stance is too political. They have criticised an email from Cr Benson-Pope alluding to Cr Lord’s political affiliations, part of what Cr Vandervis described as “a shameless slide into partisan politics”. Cont/

    • Peter

      I think these councillors on both sides need to get over themselves. So what if your political leanings are Labour/Green or National? They seem to forget they are politicians with their own agendas.
      It makes no sense to me why you would want to beach a new hospital on a more distant Greenfield site. Totally impractical for our Med School… as long as it survives down here. But maybe that is the Government’s plan to kill it off. A Greenfield site away from the university should help.

      • Elizabeth

        No one (loudly) appears to want a non central city site, however playing power games between the *discrepancy* that is local and central government can come at terrible cost. A citizen group of any persuasion to do the SOS would have been better than have DCC head it. Worrying.

        • Peter

          True. But that is Dunedin. Let someone else do the hard yakka. It is always left to more politicised people. In this case, politicians.
          Most people prefer to silently complain about decisions made on their behalf.
          Disaffection from the political process may explain some of this. There is not one politician or political grouping down here that acts as a lightning rod.
          We muck along.

  8. Rob Hamlin

    I’ll say it loudly. Wakari appears to me to make more sense from a community health delivery point of view – More effective bang for a fixed (inadequate?) budget, less disruption and a couple of other plusses.

    The impact of a move to Wakari on fringe activity/speculation profit delivery stemming from existing investment positions taken related to the development of the Centre City site? Well who knows, but methinks that particular calculation might look a bit different for some.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    “Wakari appears to me to make more sense from a community health delivery point of view” – no no and NO.
    Wakari is a bugger to get to without private transport, expensive to get to by 2 or more buses, so that’s unfair for poor people and non-drivers attending clinics and visiting people in hospital.
    Taieri Rd in winter….!
    Unless Medical School were to be relocated up there too the inconvenience and waste of time associated would be MASSIVE.

    • Elizabeth

      University of Otago health sciences foster multidisciplinary work with other departments and research groups on campus – there is no cogent reason or efficiency I can think of to destabilise existing and potential collaborations and deliveries by shifting the tertiary level hospital away from the university hub or indeed the central business district and available visitor accommodation stetching into North Dunedin. If these aspects aren’t broke don’t fix it. Staging of the hospital build and refurbishment is possible in the existing and near location.

  10. Elizabeth

    Out of interest – this is not a criticism of the spend per se.
    My official information request was made yesterday.


    From: Sandy Graham [DCC General Manager Strategy and Governance]
    Date: 28/03/17 3:04 PM
    To: Elizabeth Kerr
    Cc: Official Information
    Subject: FW: Costs of Hospital material

    Good afternoon Elizabeth

    You asked a series of questions re the costs of the hospital campaign to which I provide answers below. I have also included additional information provided to Councillors for completeness.

    1. When did Council decide to print a flyer?
    Following the Council resolving to “ask other organisations, agencies and individuals who support this view to also convey it to Government” a flyer was determined to be the best mechanism on or around the 10th of March 2017.

    2. How many flyers were printed?

    3. How many copies were distributed to Dunedin households?

    4. Who delivered the flyers?
    Reach Media (who hold the contract for FYI delivery)

    5. What was the cost of producing/printing the flyer?
    $1,570 (excl GST)

    6. What was the cost for distribution?
    $5,075 (excl GST)

    7. How many flyers remain on hand?

    The costs for the production and distribution have been met by the Council’s Communication and Marketing Department budget. Graphic design, website and social media work was all provided by staff.

    For completeness, the following costs have also been incurred:

    Production of video for Facebook page – $240
    Registration of the url for the website – $27
    Facebook boost advertisements – $190
    Therefore, the costs are $7102 (excl GST).

    I trust this answers your enquiry.



    • Elizabeth


      From: Sandy Graham [DCC General Manager Strategy and Governance]
      Sent: Wednesday, 29 March 2017 2:26 p.m.
      To: Elizabeth Kerr
      Cc: Official Information
      Subject: RE: FW: Costs of Hospital material

      Afternoon Elizabeth

      Answers to the supplementary questions as follows:

      1. Who produced the video? The video was produced by CH39
      2. Were they required to quote? They did provide a quote and on the basis of that quote, were engaged to produce the video.



      ● My supplementary questions were put on Tue, 28 Mar 2017 at 4:25 PM

  11. Rob Hamlin

    Hype, were it to be moved I would assume that even our local authorities would not overlook revising the bus routes, and a better (covered/accessible/safe) bus station and taxi rank could be provided to boot on site. Ditto patient and visitor carparks. You surely have had the experience of waiting (patiently) while a patient totters across one of the uneven and generally lethal high-speed pedestrian road crossings around the present hospital.

    This advantage also applies to the Med School, were they to move up there too. I would presume they currently have the same horrible carparking issues for staff and students that the rest of the Uni does, as well as a lack of space for expansion. At present if I have visitors coming to see me at work I have to book a (scarce) work park days in advance. Otherwise there’s nothing to be had, free, paid or otherwise, within a kilometre of my office. Once the cycle lanes go in on the one-ways, then that situation is going to get a whole lot worse around my workplace – and even worse yet around the hospital.

  12. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:



    Heart of Dunedin Inc has written to Prime Minister Bill English supporting the council’s Dunedin Hospital SOS campaign.

    Wed, 29 Mar 2017
    ODT: Retailers add voice to hospital campaign
    By David Loughrey
    A group of central Dunedin retailers and building owners has weighed into the debate over the future of Dunedin Hospital, saying it must stay in the central city. Heart of Dunedin Inc has got behind the Dunedin City Council’s Dunedin Hospital SOS campaign. The campaign was launched last week to keep the hospital in the CBD, with the same services. Heart of Dunedin spokesman Simon Eddy said yesterday the issue was “of tremendous significance” to retailers. Cont/

  13. Elizabeth

    Michael Woodhouse has been interviewed on Channel 39 News tonight – about the hospital site. If the video comes available, will link.

  14. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:


    Thu, 30 Mar 2017
    ODT: Land cost issue for hospital
    By David Loughrey
    Prime Minister Bill English says the cost of land in central Dunedin will be a “critical factor” in whether Dunedin Hospital stays in the CBD. His comments, in a letter sent to the Dunedin City Council, were described yesterday by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull as “concerning”. “You could infer from that there’s a possibility we can’t afford a teaching hospital in the middle of the city anymore,” Mr Cull said. “That would be very, very regrettable, indeed catastrophic, actually.” Mr English was responding to a February letter from the council. The council had resolved to ask the Government to “remove from consideration” a rebuild away from the hospital’s current location. Cont/


    DCC media releases

    Dunedin Hospital SOS Mayoral statement (24 Mar 2017)
    Rebuilding Dunedin Hospital as a top flight teaching hospital in the central city is absolutely essential for Dunedin’s future.

    Hospital rebuild campaign launched (24 Mar 2017)
    A public campaign to keep Dunedin Hospital in the central city with the same services is being launched today.


    The ODT editorial puts everybody in their place LOL

    Thu, 30 Mar 2017
    ODT Editorial: Hospital central to city’s needs
    OPINION What a shame the Dunedin City Council is divided over its campaign to keep the city’s hospital in the central city. This is an issue which should unite Dunedin. The squabbling is distressing. The council has initiated an effort to keep the rebuilt hospital right in town, with three councillors, Lee Vandervis, Mike Lord and Doug Hall, voting against. Dunedin-based National-list MP Michael Woodhouse waded in late last week, implying the campaign was a front for the Labour Party […] There are two fundamental issues. First, on the siting of the hospital, and second on whether the council should campaign on that. As as been pointed out strongly on this newspaper’s opinion page by two distinguished Dunedin residents, Sir David Skegg (a former University of Otago vice-chancellor) and Emeritus Prof David Jones (a former university medical division head), close links between the medical school and the hospital are vital. Cont/

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