Government asked to stump up cash for hospital plan

John Christie
John Christie
Government funding is being sought to help the Otago region plan for the new Dunedin Hospital build.

The Ministry of Social Development, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, the Otago Southland Employers Association and council economic development units through the region have applied for $250,000 to work out what workforce will be needed when, and how much housing they will need.

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said the ministry had filed a request on behalf of the group to the provincial growth fund, and hoped to hear back before Christmas.

Mr Christie said the hospital rebuild would require a big workforce, estimated at up to 1200 people.

"What we wanted to try to determine is what the skills across the region would look like at that time."

The city would need to bring in engineers, plumbers, electricians and the like at different phases of the build, and it wanted to map what demands for workers in the rest of the region would be.

There were council-driven projects across the region at the same time, as well as private sector work.

"We’re trying to get an overview of what are those big projects, and what are the skills required and when."

That would require detailed modelling, and was a regional issue that fitted with the growth fund. If the money was granted, the work would be tendered.

Mr Christie said the report would provide information to the public so informed decisions could be made.

There would be a decision-making process in terms of "what we might need to do as a city to provide adequate accommodation to meet the needs of those big builds".

Contractors might use the report to know when to bring in additional staff.

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