Planning only just getting under way

Pete Hodgson. Photo: ODT
Pete Hodgson. Photo: ODT

There have already been 19 reports written in the planning process for the new Dunedin Hospital: you can expect many more before the building opens in 2026.

"What happens after today's announcement is we begin a very considerable and elaborate planning phase,'' Pete Hodgson, chairman of the Southern Partnership Group, which is co-ordinating the rebuild, said.

"The public will get a lot of information about that planning process, but they won't see a lot of action on site for many months.''

The key steps are. -

Detailed business case

The hospital specifications and a project plan will be drawn up.

Two possible configurations of the hospital site were released yesterday, and Mr Hodgson said it was very possible neither would be correct.

A master site plan - the guiding document for the build process - is the next step, and he hoped it would be completed soon.

Implementation of business case

This step will include finalising architects, engineers, and other specialists working on the rebuild.

The Ministry of Health has already sounded out 150 architectural firms, engineers and contractors - both in New Zealand and overseas.

"The architectural contracts will be let spring, as well as a whole lot of other contracts,'' Mr Hodgson said.

"Project management, geotechnical services, engineering, traffic management, quantity surveying, and lots and lots more, and all of those contracts need to be done in a competitive market.

"We are pretty sure at this stage of the process that we will end up with good competitive markets in most, if not all cases ... that will take a surprising amount of the budget, probably in the order of 15-20% - it's a very big part of a complicated building.''


A four-stage process, involving conceptual, preliminary, developed and detailed designs.

"That tells you the number of storeys, the number of buildings, and the relationships between the buildings - and particularly the relationship between the buildings and function of those buildings,'' Mr Hodgson said.

Detailed design would not be finished before work on the site started, he said.

"The idea is to do in parallel what you can and to do sequentially what you can't.

"But there's no reason, for example, why all the geotechnical work can't get started before detailed planning - you're going to need new foundations, whatever you're dealing with.''


The length of time it will take to build the hospital will depend on final designs, but current predictions are it will be finished by 2026.

New Zealand's largest-ever hospital project will require more than 1000 workers, and initiatives to house those people and their families are being explored.

"I have had a first meeting with potential investors, and another one is set up for later this month,'' Mr Hodgson said.

"We are working with the city on this, but it's early days.''


Buying and installing equipment in the new hospital.

Planners are exploring whether hospital departments can be gradually shifted from the old building to to the new, or whether the new facilities will all need to be ready to go at once.

"We have looked at what, if anything, can be decanted out of the old building earlier, into the new site or in to primary sector or community sector,'' Mr Hodgson said.

"The answer is not much, but we have not yet reached any conclusion on those questions.

"It's a really good question. We need a really good answer, but we haven't got there yet.''

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