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South Island iwi Ngai Tahu is taking an active role in discussions surrounding Dunedin's new hospital build and wider investment opportunities in the city.
The Otakou marae yesterday hosted the Ngai Tahu property board, as well as Mayor Dave Cull, Southern Partnership Group convener Pete Hodgson and others as the iwi considers the possibilities.
The continuing dialogue follows indications earlier in the year Ngai Tahu wanted to play a significant role in the cultural and financial future of Dunedin, including spending some of its ``big purse'' on projects within the city.
In May, the iwi said it had been active in discussions regarding planning for the new hospital.
Yesterday, Otakou Runaka representative and former Ngai Tahu chief executive Tahu Potiki said there were discussions about available land.
While there were no specific projects yet, the meeting allowed parties to ``try and keep the conversation alive''.
``We're just waiting for the right opportunity, really.''
Mr Hodgson had been raising issues of housing for hospital build workers, the council was considering long-term housing options and the health model around the hospital rebuild meant there would need to be ``peripheral builds''.
``We know that some of the land that's going to be made available once the hospital moves is going to be declared surplus.''
That land would be available under right of first refusal legislation, under which Maori can get first opportunity to buy Crown land.
Mr Potiki said the possibility of Ngai Tahu investment was still there.
``Yeah, sure - it's a live conversation,'' he said.
``We're meeting pretty regularly with these guys on these matters.''