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Dunedin mayoral candidate Conrad Stedman attended the fundraiser at the Balmacewen golf club at the invitation of a party member.
Mr Key gave an assurance to the party faithful about the delay-ridden hospital rebuild in response to an audience question, Mr Stedman said.
``John Key emphatically said - and he said you can quote me on this - `the hospital will be getting built or redone. We just need to get the designers to sort out what we've got to do and it will be done'.''
Mr Key assured the audience that the hospital would not be downgraded in the rebuild, Mr Stedman said.
Then an audience member ``piped up about Invermay'' - the decision by AgResearch to downgrade the agricultural research facility.
Mr Key responded that the Invermay decision was not made by central Government, and the hospital project was different because it was centrally controlled.
A spokeswoman for Mr Key told the Otago Daily Times that while the Invermay decision was signed off by the Government, AgResearch was a Crown Research Institute and made its own investment decisions.
The Government was ``100% committed'' to the Dunedin Hospital redevelopment, the spokeswoman said.
``The tertiary training provided by Dunedin Hospital is highly valued by locals and Otago University and is integral to medical training in New Zealand. The Government has no plans to change this.''
Asked if Mr Key was coming under pressure from core National supporters in South over decisions affecting the area, the spokeswoman said Mr Key was ``questioned on local issues everywhere he goes''.
``Ministers are reporting that feedback from Dunedin businesses and community leaders has been increasingly positive.''