Price paid for hospital site fair: Clark

David Clark
David Clark
The $11.6 million the Government paid to buy the former Cadbury factory site for the Dunedin Hospital rebuild was a reasonable one, Health Minister David Clark believes.

"I think it is a fair price, that's my understanding,'' Dr Clark said last night.

"It's really good to have that part of the site confirmed and handed over now.''

The Crown this week became the official owner of the prime CBD land.

"It was a commercial negotiation but it turns out to be a very small part of the overall cost of building a hospital,'' Dr Clark said.

"Having the broader central city site gives us plenty of options depending on the challenges we might face in geotechnical work or in terms of what the best layout is.''

The $1.4 billion hospital project will be built both on the former factory site, its car park, and also on the block to the north of Cadbury's - now home to a student hostel and a range of businesses.

The Government is still negotiating the purchase of that land.

That process is at arm's length from the minister, but Dr Clark said he believed indications were positive.

Dr Clark was confident construction work would begin on the hospital before the next election, a pledge he made at the announcement of the new hospital's central city location.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz


 

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It would be interesting to know WHEN Cadburys started negotiations with the Government on the site? My gut feeling is that it started well before Cadburys dumped Dunedin so it could 'profit' from its closure of the factory. So we have traded 400 jobs from Cadburys for a new hospital site?

I still do not understand why the old Hillside works site was not selected. Already government owned land with space galore. I am sure there is a good reason....?

Hillside likely wasn't chosen because of its distance from the University, but mainly probably because there is hope/a chance that it can be used for train building/restoration etc again/more often. Which is already in the pipeline on a small scale...

Most/all medical students that I know have access to cars to get to say a Hillside Hospital site, so the practical teaching side is not an issue. The existing lecture halls in the Med School are not directly affected, and I am sure any new hospital will have a lecture hall/large meeting room as part of it- staff meetings et al. Remember the University has sites all over NZ, not just Dunedin, so multi-location is not an issue. So it still begs the question, why Cadburys vs Hillside? Still have not heard a compelling reason(s).

Mondelez should have given the land free, as a gesture of good will. Now the added bonus for them, is that they aren't stuck with a derelict white elephant, and now also avoid the $millions in demolition costs. Outrageous naivety on our governments part.

To be honest i thought that it would have cost more to buy that site, given its size. So i agree with David, in that it seems like a fair price to pay. Will be interesting how much the northern block sells for all up.

This siting was primarily a political decision, not a strategic one. There are likely to be adverse consequences of that - like a great deal more money spent on land and building than otherwise necessary and in a more and more hard-pressed health-care budget with an aging population. I still think the Wakari site made more strategic and economic sense. Expect budget blow-outs on this central city construction. And delays. (And a cycleway runs through it!)

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