ODT editor comments strongly #tick —Dunedin Hospital rebuild

Junior councillors should think carefully about how they appear in writing and how they might appear in publicity shots on Frederick St, as a band of politicos.

BRAVO to the ODT Editor:

Wisely, this editorial had already put dogsbodies in their place:

### ODT Online Thu, 30 Mar 2017
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.
Read more

DCC’s ‘Dunedin Hospital SOS’ flyer and Facebook campaign cost Ratepayers $7,102 (excl GST).

[click to enlarge]

DCC says 55,000 campaign flyers were printed, with 50,000 supposedly delivered to households (however, thickish piles of flyers have been found by cleaners about town —gathering dust in corporate office tearooms and reception areas)….

ODT 25.3.17 (page 1) – tweaked by whatifdunedin

### 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

Related Posts and Comments:
● 27.3.17 Site Notice #DunedinHospital
● 26.2.17 Dunedin Hospital Redevelopment
● 6.2.17 Let the Ombudsman recommend for democracy at SDHB
● 24.1.17 SDHB/Govt : Physio Pool GRIEF
● 9.1.17 Audit NZ admonishes commissioner Grant and SDHB #Health
● 18.12.16 DCC set to take away CBD car parks without Economic Impact research
20.11.16 Delta at Dunedin Hospital #worseluck
7.11.16 SDHB #FAILS with Healthcare Communication and Governance
3.9.16 SDHB ‘food’ : Our eyes glaze over . . . .
23.8.16 Win! to DCC candidate Paul Pope #DunedinHospital
22.6.16 SDHB Commissioners speed-bleed health system
1.5.16 Hospital food according to Gurglars
23.12.15 SDHB underfunded, no bandage
3.11.15 SDHB will ‘takeaway’ more than freshly cooked meals and a head chef
30.10.15 Dunedin Hospital #despair
● 17.6.15 Southern District Health Board sacked !!!
9.6.15 Southern District Health Board
16.4.15 Talk of replacing Southern District Health Board with commissioner
21.8.14 Dirty pool? #SDHB #University
6.8.14 Otago Therapeutic Pool at Dunedin Hospital
1.5.14 Dunedin Hospital buildings SORRY STATE
14.1.14 DCC: Hospital area parking changes #cyclelanes
5.12.13 Swann case: ODHB/SDHB and friends
3.8.12 Extraordinary editorials

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Finance, Health, Hospital, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, SDHB, Site, Town planning, Travesty, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

10 responses to “ODT editor comments strongly #tick —Dunedin Hospital rebuild

  1. russandbev

    And so the hospital saga continues. Of course it is political. Anyone that believes otherwise should open their eyes.

    But I really do question this process. What incentives exist for the group pondering the problem of where to put the hospital? None that I can see. One incentive for not coming to an early decision is the daily fees paid to the group.

    As far as I can see from attending sessions and reading the various reports, the main things seem to be that the ward block (nothing other than a number of dormitories) has a common floor level with the clinical services block which needs a slightly higher ceiling height to cater for larger equipment. This does not take rocket science to fix.

    Another thing is whether to rebuild further away from the University and its Health Science teaching. Why would you?

    The only reason that I can see for further delaying what seem simple issues are ones of Central Government funding and whether they are still keen on the support of the Medical School. It may be tempting to undermine the Uni Health Science, reduce the amount of teaching at the hospital and make the rebuild cheaper and that is political.

    A side issue – and it might not be a popular view – is that some things that the ODT and City campaigned on such as neurology may have backfired. Was winning a battle more important than winning the war?

    • Elizabeth

      Russell – useful points. Internally, amongst the upper tiers of hospital operational management they know and privately say the fight for neurosurgery is not substantiated by the number of surgeries actually being carried out for the Otago Southland region.

      • russandbev

        There is no doubt that the Neurosurgery battle was a silly one on a number of fronts. Put simply there isn’t the population base to warrant the establishment and maintenance of such a unit UNLESS a number of DHB’s work cooperatively to establish and run such a high specialist area. For example if the CDHB and the SDHB decided that all South Island neurosurgery should happen in Dunedin. That didn’t happen.

        The end result was that the new Chair of Neurosurgery was underworked and according to medical staff I spoke to was touting for business in the region. Way past time for a much wider strategic view be taken in the provision of high specialty medical services which I suggest would lead to much higher provision of run of the mill services.

        It was unfortunate that the ODT and others leapt onto that particular bandwagon before really asking some hard questions,

  2. Elizabeth

    From the latest DCC FYI newsletter:

    Mayor’s Desk

    Rebuilding Dunedin Hospital as a top flight teaching hospital in the central city is absolutely essential for the future of Dunedin.
    All around the world, a central city hospital close to a university and medical school is seen as optimal. It’s difficult to identify anyone who wouldn’t be disadvantaged by moving Dunedin Hospital away from the central city. Outpatients and visitors catching buses to the soon to be completed nearby bus hub, retailers and cafes, and professors and medical students moving between the hospital and lecture theatres would all be affected.
    The criteria for the location of our new hospital must be more than just budgetary – more than just “what can we build for the lowest cost?” It also has to address what our community needs in the next 40 years in the way of health care and where that is best provided.
    The Council has passed a series of resolutions and told the Government that a hospital site must be located in the central city and anything else would be unacceptable and extremely costly to our community. We’ve expressed concerns about the alternative locations under consideration and about the delays in progress for this essential project.
    We’ve started a campaign, Dunedin Hospital SOS. If you support rebuilding Dunedin Hospital as a top flight teaching hospital in the central city, visit the website below or head into your nearest DCC library or service centre, fill out the letter to Government ministers and make sure your voice is heard.


    █ Read FYI Issue 49 April 2017 and FYI monthly back issues at

  3. Peter

    The argument always seems to crop up in Dunedin that if you question or oppose something you are being negative. It doesn’t follow. You may be arguing for something better rather than opposing something for its own sake.

    Also, on council there seems to be an underlying conformity pressure on councillors to vote unanimously and when the councillors do express contrary views they are described as being ‘divided’ instead of just expressing different points of view.

    Lee Vandervis has frequently found himself on his own with a contrary vote and this is highlighted by those who don’t like his views. He is typically called ‘negative’. I find this intolerant.

    It is a bit like the controversy about the European Society set up by some students at the university (now abandoned). Those who opposed it described the society as ‘racist’. It might well be if you dig behind the surface….I don’t know… but interestingly a group of prominent New Zealanders, as a result, have spoken up about free speech and condemned ‘hate speech’ laws as not the way to go in terms of allowing the wider ideal of allowing democratic, free speech.

    Racists, etc are indeed repugnant creatures, but it is silly to try and censor them with hate speech laws. In a short time their mouths make them out as fools because they can’t back their arguments with facts. Trump in the USA is already coming unstuck with his own inanities caused by his big, bigoted gob.

    • Chris

      Trump takes a fair bit of hate speech, but is the only world leader to stand up and put his words into action, for those poor little kids gassed in Syria

  4. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  5. Gurglars

    It’s really quite bad luck for those who invested in the South Pacific, Tulips and Poseidon that they did not listen to the alternative view. In the main the crowd view is often wrong. Lemmings have an awful record as a collective.

    Most of the progress made in society has been made as a result of inventions or discoveries of individuals.

    That is why social engineering is bound to fail. The smarties, opinion leaders, don’t want to be herded by the masses.

    I note that a hospital situated out of town would actually completely stuff the bus hub plan and the flight to cycle lanes plans.

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Me, I’ll just leave it all up to Richard Thomson to get the rebuild on track and in the right place. He is the past master of these imbroglios as he will readily tell if you cared to ask.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s