$500,000 building costs

The cash-strapped Southern District Health Board has had to find $500,000 to bring 34 of its buildings up to standard.

Nigel Trainor. Photo: RNZ
Nigel Trainor. Photo: RNZ
None of the buildings, which include dental clinics, residential properties and hospital buildings, are unsafe to occupy, but all needed work to receive a building warrant of fitness, SDHB finance, procurement and facilities executive director Nigel Trainor said.

"Remedial repairs are required to some of the specified systems, including doors and passive fire systems.

"These remedial works need to be carried out to gain warrant sign-off, but in a number of these affected buildings there is only one remedial item or specified system with outstanding remedial works that may stop the entire building warrant of fitness being issued," Mr Trainor pointed out.

Ironically, the catalyst for the additional work and expense was the SDHB itself.

All of the 34 buildings had a warrant of fitness up until 2020, when board elected to change its warranting process and engage an independent expert, who identified a number of systems which needed to be fixed.

"Multiple factors have contributed to delays in carrying out the remedial work, including scheduling repairs around a working hospital environment, the availability of contractors, and delays associated with Covid-19," Mr Trainor said.

"We are working through these alongside our contractors."

The work would cost about a combined $500,000, Mr Trainor said.

"The cost for each building is different and depends on the work required. This ranges from a few hundred dollars to over $100,000."

In its most recent financial report the SDHB reported a deficit of $2.1million in April, and a year to date deficit of $19.7million.

It had budgeted to record a deficit of $6.6million by the end of April.

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