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As demolition work goes it was not much of a contribution.
But when Health Minister David Clark pulled a weed out of the former Cadbury factory forecourt this afternoon it marked the start of a 12- to 18-month demolition process believed to be the biggest ground demolition contract to have been let in New Zealand.
The work, due to begin next week, is being done to clear the way for construction of the new Dunedin Hospital.
"I’m chuffed," Dr Clark said.
"I have been chasing this project for a long time now, in opposition and since I became minister.
"Today we mark some really meaningful progress, where we will all be able to see change happen as buildings disappear from the site, and people will know that physical activity is under way and the construction phase of the project has begun."
At the peak of demolition 40 staff will be employed; 15 will be from Christchurch, with the remainder being Dunedin-based new employees or local subcontractors.
An estimated 55,000 tonnes of debris will be created, the majority of which will be dumped at the Burnside landfill.
Cadbury’s distribution warehouse in St Andrew St will be the first building pulled down, after which the interiors will be stripped out of all remaining Cadbury buildings.
The focus will then switch to the current Wilson’s Parking site on the other side of St Andrew St, where all buildings owned by the Ministry of Health will be levelled.
That will be followed by demolition of the remainder of the Cadbury site, subject to resource and heritage consents.
For the first phase of demolition disruption to traffic is expected to be minimal, with main roads and cycleways remaining open for use.