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Neither New Zealand First or National would comment this week when contacted.
"We’re not going to engage in any discussion about any possible coalition negotiations in any policy area," a National Party spokesman said. On his last Dunedin visit before the election, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said no-one should profit from the "pain and agony of illness".
"Our policy is to support the construction of a new hospital in Dunedin, but we don’t want a public private partnership [PPP], which does not work.
"We don’t want it built by private interests so that now someone is exploiting the pain and agony of illness," Mr Peters said in a speech on September 14.
During the campaign, it was revealed National had set aside no money for the new hospital as it plans to use a PPP. Likely investors included large domestic investors such as the New Zealand Super Fund. Just how the PPP would work is not clear, but it would involve construction and maintenance, rather than clinical services. The hospital is expected to cost up to $1.4 billion.
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell said when contacted PPPs were "privatisation by stealth" and cost the public more over time. Dropping the PPP should be a condition of any deal New Zealand First struck with National, Mr Powell said.
"Given the high risk that PPPs pose to a public health system, and given that it makes no clinical or financial sense in Dunedin or anywhere else, we would expect that if New Zealand First goes with National ... dropping its privatisation by stealth through PPPs should be a condition of any agreement."
With 7.5% of the vote, Mr Peters held the balance of power and will strike a deal with either National or Labour. Labour has ruled out a Dunedin Hospital PPP.