Broad approach needed: OCC

Dougal McGowan
Dougal McGowan
A region-wide approach is needed to make sure the rebuild of the Dunedin Hospital is successful, the head of the Otago Chamber of Commerce says.

The chamber of commerce is co-ordinating a group of representatives from construction companies, local and central government and education providers to help deal with an expected serious shortfall in skilled labour needed for the build.

Chamber chief executive Dougal McGowan said the group’s main task would be finding out what construction projects were being planned in Otago and Southland and making sure they did not conflict with each other.

It was then about finding the right people to make sure there was enough skilled labour in the region so the rebuild and all the other projects could go ahead, Mr McGowan said.

"We know there’s a skill shortage not only in Dunedin but elsewhere in the region and what we don’t want is to solve a problem in Dunedin but then create a problem in another part of Otago," he said.

The group, yet to be officially named, would hold its first meeting in the coming weeks and a chairman would be selected then.

Last week, Health Minister David Clark said there were not enough workers available in Otago and Southland to fill the demand caused by the hospital and other planned projects.

The group is likely to include representatives from the likes of construction companies Calder Stewart and Hawkins, to Ngai Tahu, the Department of Corrections and local government.

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