You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The Southern District Health Board cannot say when these Dunedin Hospital lifts, closed in October because of the asbestos scare, will reopen.
Chief executive Carole Heatly said the decontamination was a "really big job'', and had been put out to tender.
As well as the lifts themselves, the sixth floor plant room, seventh floor lift room, and lift shaft had to be decontaminated before the lifts could be used.
"We are unable to confirm when the lifts will be open until negotiations have been completed, but we are moving this along as fast as we can,'' Ms Heatly said.
Asked why some large areas of contamination were dealt with quickly when the scare emerged, Ms Heatly said those areas had "direct patient and clinical impact''.
The lifts are near the Cumberland St entrance to the clinical services building.
Responses to the tender were being evaluated.
Some services were disrupted for a short time last year after asbestos fibres were found in some areas.