Trust grants $500,000 for hospital rebuild

Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster
Another $500,000 has put the Maniototo Hospital rebuild closer to its target - but confirmation of the $1 million pledged pre-election by the Labour Party for the project is still to come.

The Otago Community Trust on Friday announced it would give $500,000 to Maniototo Health Services Ltd (MHSL) as part of the trust’s latest round of grants.

The money will go specifically towards the community services areas in the new hospital.

MHSL general manager Geoff Foster said he was "delighted" with the funding, which took funds raised to $5.6 million.

The hospital rebuild was estimated last year to cost $6 million, but prices would now have gone up, Mr Foster said.

He did not want to estimate by how much, but  the hospital still needed the $1 million pledged by then Labour leader Andrew Little at a public meeting in Oamaru in July.

He said although "positive discussions" had been held with the Government since the election, there was still no confirmation of the $1 million.

When asked if the money would still be given to the hospital project, Minister of Health David Clark said: "I have asked officials for advice on how we can progress this commitment and the Ministry of Health is working with the trust [MHSL] on it."

Mr Foster said other donations still coming in showed the scope and strength of support that existed for the rebuild. Recent donations were $20,000 from the Christchurch-based St Joan’s Trust, $2000 from  St John Youth Maniototo and $94 from  Middlemarch School.

Mr Foster said designs and costings for the rebuild were being finalised, and the project was scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018, as the foundations needed to be down before winter.

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