Election 2023: Labour commits to building new hospital in Hawke's Bay

The Labour Party has announced it will build a brand-new hospital in Hawke's Bay if it's re-elected in October. 

Labour leader Chris Hipkins and health spokesperson Ayesha Verrall made the announcement on Thursday morning, which they say is part of their long-term plan to rebuild health infrastructure throughout New Zealand.   

"It follows commitments to build new hospitals in Nelson and Whangarei, where work has begun, and our commitment to delivering a new hospital in Dunedin, where construction is well underway," Hipkins said.   

"Labour inherited a health system suffering from years of underinvestment with many hospitals unable to provide the world-class health services that New Zealanders deserve."  

Dr Verrrall said the new hospital will cost between $700 million and $1.1 billion and will be fully funded in Labour's fiscal plan over the next decade. The business case will begin in Labour's first few months if the party is elected in October.  

"The community will be a key partner in the rebuild and today we are announcing the news that Hawkes' Bay wants to hear: that it will be funded." 

Hawke's Bay's current hospital in Hastings was built in 1927 and is "no longer fit for purpose and has seismic resilience issues", according to Dr Verrall.   

Tukituki MP Anna Lorck said building a new hospital will be the "single greatest infrastructure project" for the Hawke's Bay region.  

"I am thrilled that a re-elected Labour Government will deliver a new hospital for the people of Hawke's Bay. I made this a priority when I became an MP and I have advocated for this every day since." 

Labour said work is already underway to upgrade facilities at the existing hospital to ensure the needs of the Hawkes Bay community can continue to be met over the next decade.  

"This includes $68 million for the radiology facilities redevelopment, an expansion of surgical services and an angiography suite replacement," Dr Verrall said.  

"Work is also underway already on a district-wide clinical services plan to ensure needs can be met now and well into the future - this will feed into the new hospital project.      

"We simply cannot risk the coalition of cuts taking us back to a time where front-line services were neglected, workers pay in real terms went backwards and sewage ran down the walls of hospitals."