WATCH: Minister Megan Woods with Newstalk ZB's Chris Lynch
More than 1000 car parks are being planned for near Christchurch Hospital, putting an end to "parking woes", the Government says.
For years staff at the hospital have been saying their safety was under threat because they have to park some distance away and walk through the city centre or Hagley Park late at night or early in the morning.
Several staff have been assaulted on their way to work, including a nurse who was attacked by a masked man in 2017 and a student nurse who was robbed and assaulted at knifepoint in Hagley Park late at night in 2018.
Waiting lists for parking spaces available far exceed demand.
Today the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods announced the government had brokered a solution.
The new parks include a 450-space building to be developed and managed by Ngāi Tahu Property on CDHB land by St Asaph St and Hagley Ave, two more floors and 238 spaces at the existing staff car park in Antigua St, and a CDHB Park and Ride that would have up to 350 spaces – including 200 for the public and up to 150 for hospital staff.
"Last year, when I became aware that earlier plans for improved parking in the area were unlikely to materialise, I instructed my officials in Christchurch to explore all options," said Woods.
The Government was contributing $14.25m towards the expansion of the existing parking building as well as contributing to the new car park facility.
"We have reached a long-term solution to a protracted and less than adequate situation. This solution is long overdue," said Woods.
"I really feel for those who have had to endure less-than-ideal temporary parking options in the area during often difficult times in their lives."
The new parking would mean the land under a temporary car park and the hospital's afternoon staff car park could transferred to the Crown – its Christchurch rebuild agency Ōtākaro needs that land to finish building the Metro Sports Facility.
Ngāi Tahu Property expects to complete the new car park building within 18 to 24 months.