‘Faffing about’ on hospital build: Woodhouse

The latest concept design image for the new Dunedin Hospital buildings, supplied by the...
The latest concept design image for the new Dunedin Hospital buildings, supplied by the Government late last year. IMAGE: SUPPLIED

Progress on the new Dunedin hospital has stalled and the Government is "faffing about", National Dunedin list MP Michael Woodhouse says.

The detailed business case for the hospital, which was originally scheduled to be considered by the Cabinet last March, is still to be signed off.

Michael Woodhouse. Photo: ODT files
Michael Woodhouse. Photo: ODT files
The document, which sets out what services will be provided within the $1.4billion-plus project, is a vital planning document for building the hospital.

Mr Woodhouse said he expected to still be talking about the overdue detailed business case in a year.

"I said in September that I did not think that the detailed business case would go before Cabinet this year [2021], and I stand by that comment.

"It is taking a painfully long time, and if it was a National-led government faffing about to this degree then Southerners would be marching in the streets."

The indicative business case for the hospital was signed off in April 2017 and it seemed little had been achieved in almost three years, despite Labour’s promises, Mr Woodhouse said.

"There are significant tensions between Treasury and the Ministry of Health over the scope and cost of the project, and nothing has changed."

In September, then health minister Chris Hipkins announced the Cabinet had given "in principle" approval for the plan and that final details were expected to be considered for approval in February.

Cabinet papers released to the Otago Daily Times showed the Treasury opposed that decision and said it believed there were significant risks with the project.

It is understood the Cabinet — which has deferred most business to deal with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19 — is still to turn its attention to the detailed business case.

In the interim, Southern District Health Board documents show the plan has recently been "revised for resubmission to the Ministry of Health and the ministers".

Demolition work is continuing on the site, using $127million released last year to ensure some progress on the hospital.

Health Minister Andrew Little said the hospital timetable he was aware of was being met.

The SDHB appears before Parliament’s health select committee today. Mr Woodhouse flagged questions on progress would be asked.

Dr John Adams, chairman of the clinical leadership group of doctors advising on the new hospital, said although medical staff were strongly advocating for their services to be offered sufficient space and capacity in the buildings, they were not causing any hold-up.

"We have always met every deadline we have needed to," he said.

"But there will always be ongoing discussion and disagreement over some things and we are still discussing some things about capacity and design."

The Government is still considering whether to approve an application by the Ministry of Health to fast-track the consent for the building under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-Track Consenting) Act 2020.

A spokesman for Environment Minister David Parker said there was still no decision on whether to refer the project to an expert consenting panel for consideration.




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First they blame the National party for all problems, now they will blame covid for everything.
This incompetents couldn't run a bath let alone a massive infrastructure build.
Yet still Dunedin will vote labour every time, no matter how many broken promises they make and how little the deliver on our issues (little meaning sfa)
You've been hoodwinked people, and 90% are too dyed in the wool to notice or care.
With your help, Dunedin is going to go down the gurgler, as I imagine most of you voted for our useless mayor as well

If you had been to the house auction I attended last night you might have a different opinion. Great competition to buy $1million small houses. People are coming here to live in their droves. We are seen as a great country led by a great government and a public health system that many envy.
The national party has had a convicted 'Justice' Minister (Sir Doug Graham) and a current leader who was caught up in Dirty Politics 7yrs ago which yesterday led to an apology in court and a huge payout. Oh and don't even mention how run down Dunedin Hospital got under the other lot.

Coming from a member of a party that underfunded the health sector for a decade and never had a new hospital plan at all this is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.

Woodhouse is just a list MP with a private hospital sector background. Hypocrisy indeed. Why does the ODT keep printing his photo and opinion?

Maybe because he has a much better idea of what is/isn't going on than Clark, our missing in action MP.

I would lay odds that the new hospital will not be ready before 2030 at the earliest. Red tape will reduce it all to a snails pace.

Woodhouse, tell yourself & your Nat cronies to stop criticising everything the govt does. If they built it too quick you'd moan. At least they are building it and it won't be done privately. And they are building it nearby the Uni & not up Wakari like you had talked about. There was a delay in purchasing land and demolition etc.

"If it was a National led Government faffing about there would be marching in the streets". Well your government did "faff" about. Nothing evolved beyond talking about it for over 2 election cycles. And as a staff member I can also say that our healthcare system under your government eroded significantly. I'd be marching in the streets if it was National because you were good at rhetoric and little else. There is a reason you were crushed in the last election, and speaking for my vote it had a lot more to do with your impotency in the past than it did Covid.

Agree entirely. Woodhouse has the gall to criticise- well it just backfired.

So... The Govt is "faffing" about.
Let's look at the facts.
The overall project has been approved. The revised detail plans have just been sent to the Ministry of Health. Issues of capacity and design are still being discussed by local advisory groups. Demolition of the old has commenced. Every deadline has been met.
So once again Woodhouse has it wrong and a clear lack of knowledge of what is actually happening.

Woodhouse has this right. Progress has been virtually at a standstill. The Treasury don't want to pay for it, ministers couldn't care less, the Ministry of Health wants to build something about the size of urgent doctors and our local labour MPs are nowhere to be seen. Still our show pony PM will smile and say everything is fine. Boy, do we have problems.

David, you may have problems but we remember how the National Government let Dunedin Hospital get run down in the to the state where it needed replacing.
They also signed up for 15yrs with Compass, to replace a first class hospital food service that used local food and local staff. Now frozen food is sent from Auckland and it is disgusting.
Labour MPs are not involved in the rebuild and are very much available to us. Also, remember they were elected, which 'show horse' Woodhouse was not.
His comments are hypocritical, to say the least.

What annoys me is the business case was done a year ago. That case details what services will or will not be delivered in Dunedin. Why is that still a secret? I can only assume that is bad news for Dunedin - if it was good news they would be telling us.

The only government that 'faffed' about was National. At least Labour dared to turn the first sod. No, it hasn't gone well, there have been delays, and Im not that convinced about the location impacts. But at least the job is getting done. Woodhouse, your comments are rich mate, seeing as your lot did...... NOTHING!!!!!

Was there a full moon lately?, Woodhouse hasn't chimed in for a while and obviously needs the limelight. Where is Cull, Hawkins, Benson Pope, Bidrose and the other tight five who campaigned for this site using Dunedin Rate payers coin. Somethings up and I can't put my finger on it - Benson Pope and Hawkins have been missing from the ODT lately has somebody silenced them?

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