New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu approved for fast track consenting processEnvironment
The New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu has been approved for consideration under the fast track consenting legislation.
The decision by Environment Minister David Parker signifies the importance of the project to the health of the people of Otago-Southland and to the economy of the region.
“This project ticks all the boxes for the fast-track process; it will bring forward jobs, assists in the transition to a low-emissions economy and increases the social and health resilience of the region,” David Parker said.
“The existing hospital is in a state of disrepair and I know this is impacting health services to the community.”
The project, led by the Ministry of Health, covers construction and operation of the New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu, including new inpatient and outpatient buildings, ancillary services building, helipad/s, and air bridges providing access between buildings.
“This project is expected to deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose hospital,” David Parker.
It has the potential to create up to 827 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs in construction, engineering, and design.
The hospital complex has been designed with a climate resilient, low-emissions future in mind. It will use high-efficiency heat pumps, replacing the coal-fired boilers in use at the existing hospital. The design also includes on-site stormwater treatment facilities and rain gardens.
The decision today means the project can be referred to an expert panel under the Fast Track consenting legislation.
The expert panel will make the decision on the application. Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council, Iwi, Aukaha, Waka Kotahi, specific industry and advocacy groups and adjoining landowners will be invited to comment on the project.
Fast-tracking the application will still enable important matters such as urban design, transport, flood hazard and construction noise to be considered.
A decision on the new Dunedin Hospital application is expected to be made by the expert panel in late 2021.
The fast-track process does not replace or circumvent the current Resource Management Act 1991 environmental tests, but it provides alternative pathways for speeding up decisions on resource consents and designations while ensuring that environmental safeguards and Treaty of Waitangi and Treaty settlement obligations are maintained.
The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 is one of the Government’s levers to boost jobs, speed up infrastructure development and improve environmental outcomes in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19.