Hospital rebuild briefing questions

Health Minister and Dunedin North MP David Clark has received his first written briefing on the Dunedin Hospital rebuild, but it just raised more questions.

``There are things in there that I'd like to discuss with officials,'' he said, declining to discuss it further.

He was confident Labour could fulfil its promise to start construction in its first term.

``I am absolutely seized with the urgency of progressing the rebuild.''

He was also looking into what he feared was a broader lack of infrastructure spending in health during the past ``nine years of neglect''.

``If you don't invest in the infrastructure to deliver services, that's not something you can catch up on overnight.''

It was exciting to be able to do things to improve people's lives, he said, citing the paid parental leave being enacted under urgency.

``I want to acknowledge the support of people in Dunedin and across the South who have ensured we do have a new progressive government with an agenda for change.

``I'm still pinching myself occasionally because the realisation is there now that we can make that change, and we already are,'' Dr Clark said.

He was starting the promised mental health inquiry and expected to make further announcements on it in due course.

``I've been getting good information from my officials, and having plenty of conversations with people in the community who have views about how that inquiry might be shaped.''

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