Two petitions call for hospital rebuild to start

Dunedin North MP David Clark took two Dunedin Hospital rebuild petitions to Parliament yesterday.

The first had gathered 3350 signatures, and the second, an online petition, amassed more than 4800.

''The petition calling on the Government to begin the Dunedin Hospital rebuild before the election is the most important because it is paper-based, and unlike online petitions convention requires that it be referred to and properly considered by a parliamentary select committee,'' Dr Clark said.

''The committee has powers to initiate an inquiry, call witnesses and produce a report if it chooses.

''Overseas examples make it clear that planning for a rebuild can happen in short order when the political will exists.

''Years have passed since the Government first committed to the rebuild of Dunedin Hospital.

''To date, no business case has been produced. Unbelievably, the promise of a full business case is now further away than it was in 2014, when I first grew concerned about delays,'' Dr Clark said.

The Government and the Southern Partnership Group have stressed the need for patience about the rebuild.

Last week, Prime Minister Bill English said the project was highly complex, and there were issues to work through before construction could start.

''There's understandably all these questions that need answered, like where it's going to be.

''The scale of the rebuild is still a bit uncertain, how complete the rebuild is as they work through the state of the [existing] buildings,'' Mr English said.

The online petition would be tabled in Parliament, but there was no requirement to refer it to select committee.



Don't stress people, within a month AFTER the election, there will be a flurry of announcements about the rebuild. Rest assured, you will lose local services, but the trip to Christchurch or Auckland for treatment will be fully tax deductable - if you survive of course.



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