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Many submitters made it plain they were more interested in the council providing increased...
Photo: ODT files
Local body and Government health officials are refusing to be drawn on how they will ensure the new Dunedin Hospital has sufficient parking - and nurses are not happy.

It looks like nobody is in charge of the situation and officials have either passed the buck or they lack a clear plan.

Dunedin nurses said uncertainty about parking provision was disconcerting.

Bex Priest and fellow nurse Fadheela Ahmed said the parking situation for the existing hospital was stressful enough.

"It’s putting a strain on our families and our children," Mrs Ahmed said.

"It makes you anxious before you start your job."

Project leaders have historically talked of providing 250 parks at the new hospital - well short of the number provided at other hospitals — and officials have stuck with that figure, but "additional parking" has been deemed out of scope.

Dunedin city councillor Jim O’Malley said it was absurd to propose a new hospital and be vague about an obvious need associated with that.

"It doesn’t make sense to me that you would build a hospital of this size and make no proper provision for the needs of those using it, of which car parking surely has to be one."

The Government had essentially conceded the point concerning Christchurch Hospital, for which 1000 new parks were being created, he said.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation representative Celeste Crawford said she was amazed that, in planning construction of the new hospital, parking for elderly people and the organisation’s members did not seem to be a priority.

"It is disappointing, given the risk to our members if they’re working at night," Ms Crawford said.

"It is disappointing that no-one seems to want to own this."

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said there would be a minimum of 250 parks.

Parking at the new hospital would be a mix of public, drop-off parks, parks for ambulances and other hospital vehicles, and parks for clinical and other staff, she said.

A Cabinet paper by Health Minister Andrew Little is explicit that additional parking is out of scope for the team tasked with getting the hospital built.

Transport Minister Michael Wood’s office was content for questions from the Otago Daily Times to be answered by Mr Little’s office, which forwarded them to the Southern District Health Board, which referred the matter to the Ministry of Health.

"It does surprise me that it’s not a priority for the DHB, or even the ministry," Ms Crawford said.

Dunedin city councillors expressed unease at the council’s 10-year plan hearings this month about uncertainty associated with parking provision at the new hospital after a series of submitters had raised the subject.

Cr Andrew Whiley listed other hospitals that had many more parks than had been proposed for Dunedin.

The announcement about a Government-brokered solution for Christchurch was made last year by Minister for Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods.

Asked who would take responsibility for ensuring adequate parking at Dunedin, the Ministry of Health referred to the partners behind the Shaping Future Dunedin Transport programme.

The programme was put together by the Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council and the NZ Transport Agency, and they produced a package of planned transport projects designed to alleviate the impact of the new hospital being built.

Public car parking was out of scope for the hospital project, the ministry spokeswoman said.

"The wider parking strategy is being developed under the Shaping Future Dunedin Transport project."

Its partners would "assess public needs and this may include exploring potential opportunities for additional car parking, if required, with prospective developers".

Shaping Future Dunedin Transport did not have a role in new parking provision, a city council spokesman said.

"Any new parking as part of any development is for the developer to consider in the first instance.

"This includes the new Dunedin Hospital, and so your questions are best directed to the Ministry of Health and its new Dunedin Hospital project team."

grant.miller@odt.co.nz

Comments

In its ten year plan, the present DCC can propose a new theatre for Dunedin but not a parking building for the new hospital. Mayor Hawkins’ legacy perhaps?

Well done ODT for keeping up on this important issue. These officials, local and central, need to be held accountable for the problems they are creating for the future. DCC and Pete Hodgson need to get off the fence and keep pushing on this. Sadly our inept mayor is only likely to push for cycle storage.

That explains the reduction in beds.
No need to have beds if people can't get to the hospital.
Maybe the vision is to only allow access to vehicles dropping off and picking up.
That will most likely be the case, as most people will be priced out of owning a car with the wealth transfer system announced yesterday, ensuring those that can buy a new car will be able to get an EV, while those in the over 15-year-old car market, will not be able to afford a replacement.
I can see a time coming when a new breed of protesters will frequent the DCC.
They won't be anything like the current bunch of 'concerned citizens' backing up our leftists doomsday prophecy possessed councilors, but real Dunedinites affected because of the DCC's contempt for reality.

 

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