Precinct’s viability dependent on timing

The University of Otago will need to manage the elements of its ambitious health precinct vision carefully to get it done.

"Most of the projects cannot be undertaken out of sequence, as they have specific dependencies upon each other," university strategic architect Gordon Roy said.

A $1billion proposal has been unveiled for an area stretching from the university’s school of dentistry to the planned new Dunedin Hospital.

"We are bound by financial constraints and affordability for each of the projects, and will also be working within the constraints of what the Dunedin construction market can support, specifically the new Dunedin Hospital build," Mr Roy said.

The timing and sequencing were complex and there would need to be some flexibility, he said.

Contracting firm Naylor Love Dunedin regional director Jason Tutty said he expected the programme could be achieved, depending on the timing.

It is expected hundreds of workers will need to be brought into the city when construction of the hospital is at its peak.

Dunedin City Council chief executive Sandy Graham said the council had been in discussions with the university’s consultants.

"We strongly support the development’s aims, which will help build on our strengths as a university city and allow the university to build on its health-related strengths," Ms Graham said.

"The potential benefits will be enjoyed not only by the university and students, but by the city as whole in creating potential for economic growth and more jobs in our city."

The proposal had not been considered in detail, but it seemed to align well with the city’s key strategies and aspirations, she said.

"It is also great to see Ngai Tahu’s involvement, strengthening the relationship with mana whenua as our Treaty partners."

Consultancy Aukaha has been influential in the health precinct design process.

The firm was providing advice on how values around mana, whakapapa, mauri and tapu could be integrated into the programme, chief executive Rachel Wesley said.



Maybe the university of Otago should manage the hospital rebuild, look at how quickly and efficiently the new dental school building was built.

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