Greymouth hospital expected to open soon

Te Nikau Grey Hospital and Health Centre, during construction. Photo: supplied.
Te Nikau Grey Hospital and Health Centre, during construction. Photo: supplied.
By Lois Williams, Local democracy reporter

The lights are on but nobody's home at Greymouth's new Te Nikau Grey Hospital. And that is exactly as it should be, according to the Ministry of Health.

Power and heating are on constantly as part of the commissioning process for the new building, at a cost of $12,000 a month.

A ministry spokesman says while the building contractor Fletchers have indicated they are on track for completion this month there is still a lot of work to be done before sign-off.

"When this is achieved the facility will then be able to be handed over to the DHB to begin a complex migration process (from the old hospital)."

Exact timings as to when Fletchers would complete the required work were still to be confirmed, but the ministry was in regular contact with Fletchers to drive the project and ensure the new hospital was finished as soon as possible.

West Coast District Health Board chairman Rick Barker and deputy chairman Tony Kokshoorn met Fletchers recently over concerns about the project delays, and were told the company would begin the transition process this month leading up to handover.

Mr Barker said he saw the fact that lights and heaters were now on at Te Nikau as another sign of progress.

"You don't open a new hospital without giving all those systems a good run first," Mr Barker said.

The Ministry of Health said the power and fuel bills run up in the commissioning process were all part of the project cost.

Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the Newspaper Publishers' Association and NZ On Air.


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