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The derelict buildings by the former Cadbury car park are set to be pulled down this month.
It is the only work the public will see for the time being, as most of the hospital work is happening behind the scenes.
Contracts for the demolition were let in February.
Dunedin businessman Hayden Cawte's company, Underground Overground Archaeology, will provide heritage advice for the buildings, and Scope Group will undertake the demolition.
A Dunedin City Council certificate of compliance approving demolition of the buildings to ground level was signed off last week, and the Ministry of Health said yesterday demolition would happen this month.
Southern Partnership Group chairman Pete Hodgson said the work would be the first indication of physical activity on the hospital, although nearly all of the activity going on was not to do with demolition or construction.
"Nearly everything is to do with planning, and that will be the case for the best part of the rest of this year."
That included securing properties on the planned hospital site.
The Otago Daily Times understands there has been little movement in that area.
Hiring of design staff was ongoing.
The certificate of compliance noted the foundations of the buildings would not be removed, and there would be no soil disturbance or earthworks.
Resource consent was not required for the demolition.
Part of the car park land has been set aside in the hospital master plan for an energy centre, although that may not be needed if a proposed district energy scheme for Dunedin goes ahead.
The scheme would be an eco-friendly energy system developed by the council, University of Otago, Southern District Health Board and the Ministry of Health.
A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said demolition of the main Cadbury building was some months away.
Council resource consent manager Alan Worthington said there were no applications for consent to demolish the main former Cadbury buildings as yet.