The opening of a new multimillion dollar facility at Dunedin Hospital has been delayed by ventilation problems.
Tests have identified problems with the air pressure in the isolation room of the $14.8 million Intensive Care Unit.
The Southern District Health Board said use of the facility could be delayed for several weeks.
It said hiring contractors to fix the problem during the Christmas period can be difficult.
In an email to staff, its chief executive, Chris Fleming, said he was disappointed about the delay.
"We share the disappointment of the ICU team regarding this delay," he said.
"[We] acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience this creates for other teams, and those you are caring for."
The new facility has 12 beds and a further 10 to available mid next year.