$1m to fast track hospital rebuild

By Laura Mills of The Greymouth Star

Grey Base Hospital and Emergency entrance, Greymouth, West Coast. Photo / File
Grey Base Hospital and Emergency entrance, Greymouth, West Coast. Photo / File

The Government will spend $1 million to fast track the long-awaited $51 million plan to rebuild Grey Base Hospital.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said a special hospital redevelopment partnership group would be established to finalise and fast-track the redevelopment plans by the end of April next year.

"Grey Base Hospital needs to be fixed; it has ageing facilities and has significant seismic issues and the Government wants to see this happen as soon as possible," Mr Ryall said.

The partnership group would bring together the DHB, Ministry of Health and Treasury in a collaborative approach that would save time and money, he said.

The minister's office said the standard large-scale building approval process could sometimes take years. The Government recently released $2m for initial emergency repairs to quake-prone wards at Greymouth.

The group will work with the DHB to develop a final business plan and consider ways to speed up the Buller Health redevelopment in Westport.

It has been more than a year since the Government said the money for the Greymouth hospital rebuild had been approved. Last October, just before the general election, then West Coast-Tasman National MP Chris Auchinvole said publicly he had "secured the money with the minister".

Since then, the sum needed has risen from $37m to $51m to reflect the rising cost of quake-proofing the hospital.

With people becoming impatient on the Coast, West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor this week lodged official parliamentary questions.

- The Greymouth Star

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