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Christchurch consultant Bryan Spinks' firm Proj X has been hired by the Ministry of Health to work on the Dunedin development, critical projects director Michael Hundleby confirmed in a statement.
Mr Hundleby's response did not explain why Mr Spinks was hired when the ministry has already engaged a host of other consulting firms.
The Otago Daily Times understands it is to help with the crucial decision about whether to keep or scrap the ward block, the biggest hospital building.
If replaced, the project assumes a bigger scale.
If kept, it must be refurbished to a suitable standard to flow into a new clinical services block, the ODT understands.
The ministry and its consultants are weighing up the costs and logistical difficulties of both options.
Mr Hundleby said Proj X had significant experience with major hospital redevelopments, including Christchurch Women's Hospital, Hutt Hospital and the recent $215million redevelopment of Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.
``Proj X has been hired directly by the critical projects team within the Ministry of Health to work alongside the ministry's project team to provide advice and peer review indicative business case documents to ensure the project can continue to be fast-tracked through the business case stages.
``The project team within the ministry for the redevelopment is small and we always utilise external expertise for complex construction projects of this nature,'' Mr Hundleby said.
The firm was hired without conducting a tendering process because of ``specific expertise and timing'', Mr Hundleby said.
Other firms engaged on aspects of the Dunedin Hospital project are: Beca, Jacobs, CCM Architects, Rider Levett Bucknell, Johnstaff, and Sapere Research Group.
The business case to be presented to Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman later this year is being penned by Sapere.