Labour promises new Dunedin Hospital

Jacinda Ardern has promised construction of a new Dunedin hospital would begin in Labour's first term if it's elected into government.
Jacinda Ardern has promised construction of a new Dunedin hospital would begin in Labour's first term if it's elected into government. Photo credit: Newshub

Labour will begin building a new Dunedin Hospital in its first term if elected to government, and they've ruled out funding it through a public-private partnership (PPP).

Leader Jacinda Ardern said the current hospital is "dangerous" and "unsafe", and most of the buildings would not survive an earthquake.

Labour estimates that the hospital will cost $1.4 billion to construct. 

"This is a project that is long overdue for Dunedin. The hospital at present is dangerous and unsafe for staff and patients. Most of the existing buildings would not survive a severe earthquake," Ms Ardern said. 

She said there's enough money in the government's capital spending allowance to fully fund the new hospital without a PPP.

National has also promised to build a new Dunedin hospital, and health spokesperson Jonathan Coleman said the party would consider all funding options including a PPP.

"We reject the idea of a PPP as they have a disastrous record in the United Kingdom. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has condemned them as 'a millstone around the neck' of the London health system. PPP contracts will only slow the construction process down," Ms Ardern said. 

"We have had examples of PPPs that do not work in New Zealand, why would we repeat that with a hospital?"

She said the time frame set out by National to construct the hospital is too long, and not using a PPP would mean Labour could deliver the hospital sooner. 

Ms Ardern believed that the hospital would be finished sooner than within the seven to ten years that National had set out.

National have not committed to beginning construction of the hospital in its first term.

Newshub. 

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