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And Mr Woodhouse said the council’s stance was "confusing" — on the one hand it wants a central city rebuild, but it granted the Accident Compensation Corporation the right to consider buying the Frederick St car park.
ACC has a 12-month timeframe to look at development options for the site.
"I can’t reconcile their determination and their campaign to have the hospital rebuild more or less where it presently is with their commitment to another organisation to sell a piece of land that could be a material part of the plan, and that’s the Frederick St car park.
"If they withdraw from that [with ACC] I have no doubt that would come at some cost to the ratepayer."
Mr Woodhouse is also ACC Minister, and he made it clear he was speaking as a local MP. Mr Woodhouse said he had been unable to get clear answers from the council about whether the deal would be difficult to get out of. The council-owned car park sits close to the hospital and had earlier been earmarked for a future hospital campus.
In December, Cr Damian Newell told the Otago Daily Times the council could pull out if the site was needed for the hospital campus. Site options are short, and the Government has refused to guarantee a central city build.
Mr Woodhouse said decisions on the site would come later.
"It’s a process that’s well under way and therefore one has to question the motives behind the campaign and, in fact, the people behind it.
"It’s clearly been started by a former Labour MP who’s now a councillor, supported strongly by present Labour MPs who see an opportunity to create a win and proclaim some kind of forcing of the Government’s hand when nothing could be further from the truth," Mr Woodhouse said.
But he admitted the campaign could sway the National-led Government if it got traction ahead of the election: "Anything’s possible."
"The fact that there’s an election at the end of the year has given my friends on the other side the opportunity to create a platform for a campaign, and I’m sure they’re quite pleased about that," Mr Woodhouse said.
Former Labour cabinet minister Cr David Benson-Pope is a campaign organiser and spokesman.
Cr Benson-Pope said Mr Woodhouse was likely feeling heat from the campaign, and was being "silly" in his comments about the Frederick St car park.
Cr Benson-Pope rubbished Mr Woodhouse’s assertions that he got confusing answers from the council.
"He was told absolutely by the mayor [and staff] what the situation was in respect of ACC.
"And by the way, he’s the Minister for ACC, so he should be able to find out what the agreement is."
Cr Benson-Pope said Mr Woodhouse should focus on the issues rather than personalities.
"I’m sure Mr Woodhouse is already receiving emails as a result of our efforts . . . so I’m not surprised he’s uncomfortable."
Cr Benson-Pope launched the campaign with other councillors outside The Fix cafe in Frederick St yesterday. The campaign is called Hospital SOS: Save Our Site. Save Our Services.