Queenstown's health watchdog has decided to continue to
oversee progress on the redevelopment of the Lakes District
Minutes of the last three meetings of the Wakatipu Health
Reference Group, requested by the Otago Daily Times, show
chairwoman and Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden
advised fellow members in February the group had exceeded its
two-year term, after being established as one of the
recommendations of the National Health Board and tasked with
monitoring the delivery of the other 20 recommendations.
More than half of the objectives have been achieved.
Ms van Uden said it was an appropriate time to consider the
status of the group and whether it should continue.
''She noted that frustration over the lack of progress with
the Lakes District Hospital campus redevelopment had been
prevalent in the group's recent meetings,'' the meeting
Southern District Health Board chief executive Carole Heatly,
in an update to the group on the campus' progress, said
discussions with potential partner health insurer Southern
A finished health profile was due to be made public after the
April board meeting. The profile showed the population in the
0-10 age group in the Queenstown area was growing more
quickly than anywhere else in the region.
While the number of older people was not growing at such a
high rate, there was an increasing tendency for them to
remain in the area, meaning there would be a greater need for
services for the elderly, the profile said.
Group member Martin Hawes said the hospital redevelopment was
foremost in the community's mind in terms of advancing
Wakatipu health services, the minutes recorded.
Mr Hawes was concerned about its ''very slow rate of
progress'' and the implication several months previously the
development was ''a certainty'', while it was clear by the
group's meeting in February the necessary investigatory work
had not been done.
National Health Board acting national director Michael
Hundleby told the health reference group the slow progress
was not uncommon with hospital developments. Progress had
been complicated by the fact the redevelopment did not fully
demonstrate the elements of a successful business case, he
Although the group had reached the end of its original
tenure, members agreed there was value in the group
continuing, especially in light of reports Southern Cross was
close to providing a final response on the hospital