Plans to build a new health hub and maternity unit in the central city, which were scrapped because of asbestos contamination, may still go ahead.

When Pegasus Health was looking to replace its Bealey Ave 24-hour Surgery in 2013, it developed a plan to build on the former Christchurch Women's Hospital site on Colombo St.

But the plan was dropped because of the "complexity and cost" of dealing with asbestos on the site.

A new site for the medical centre was found on Madras St instead, and the Colombo St site has sat empty since.


The Canterbury District Health Board is now looking at building a new birthing unit on the land.

CDHB planning and funding general manager Carolyn Gullery said the site was still contaminated with asbestos, but the health board was looking at ways to manage it.

She said options for the site were being looked at, but there were no set time frames around the project.

There are currently 45 maternity beds at the Christchurch Women's Hospital maternity unit, and she said on average 30-40 women were admitted each day.

The CDHB also has a three-year contract with St George's Hospital to provide maternity services, which expires in 2019.

Across Canterbury, about 6000 babies are born each year.

There was currently enough capacity to meet the needs of all Canterbury women within the system, she said.

The Colombo St hospital was built in the 1950s, but demolished in 2008 after the current Christchurch Hospital facilities opened.


The future use of the land had not been decided when the building was demolished.