Demolition work is underway at Dunedin's former Cadbury site as work ramps up for the new hospital.
Two derelict buildings on the Cadbury car park site are being demolished with work expected to be finished next week.
The Ministry of Health's DHB Performance Support and Infrastructure Deputy Director-General Michelle Arrowsmith said key design staff had been employed.
"The Ministry is now working through the concept design phase, which will give more certainty around what the hospital will look like and how it will operate," Ms Arrowsmith said.
"The next tranche of design team and project consultants have come together this week in Dunedin to discuss how to take the project to the next stage and to start demolition planning for the Cadbury factory site."
The Ministry was negotiating to buy the final land plots required after two more properties were purchased since the end of last year, she said.
The main demolition work is expected to be underway in early 2020.