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Work and Income NZ’s Dunedin head office will remain in its Castle St location for at least this year.
The government department will have to move at some stage — its building sits in the middle of what will eventually become the new Dunedin Hospital.
But for now it would be staying put, the Ministry of Social Development said.
"There is still a lot to work through before confirming a new location, but we’ve been told we have until the end of the year before we have to move out of our current Dunedin premises," MSD southern regional commissioner Jason Tibble said.
The site for the new hospital, across two city blocks including the former Cadbury factory and the Wilson car parking block — home to Work and Income — was announced last May.
Last month the Government announced the hospital project would be brought forward, and that work would begin in 2020 on the smaller of two planned buildings on the site, an outpatient and day surgery building.
That is expected to be built on the block where Work and Income is based.
Mr Tibble said the MSD was assessing a range of potential properties in the central city, including John Wickliffe House, for their suitability.
The Ministry of Health has already bought the Cadbury block for the new hospital, and confirmed in December that it had bought land at 174 Castle St for the development.
Several blocks of land along Castle St between St Andrew St and Hanover St are still to be secured for the project.