29 Jul 2020

How Auckland Hospital's $262m infrastructure upgrade will be spent

12:41 pm on 29 July 2020

Auckland Hospital's ageing infrastructure has been given a $262 million boost to get it up to scratch.

Auckland City Hospital

Auckland City Hospital. File image. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Health Minister Chris Hipkins has been at the hospital to announce it is releasing the money for the second stage of a major upgrade.

It will go towards a six-storey central plant building - full of engineering equipment, tanks, pumps and air systems needed to keep the hospital running.

Some of the existing plant is 50 years old and Hipkins said if it failed it could compromise the whole hospital.

"Reliable infrastructure improves safety for patients and staff. It ensures better responsiveness and fewer operational issues. The DHB will also be better positioned for future capacity works to meet growing demand," Hipkins said.

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Chris Hipkins. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

"This significant investment will make a real difference. While often behind the scenes, away from patients and whānau, it's the critical infrastructure that keeps hospitals running. This work will get underway while the DHB's existing infrastructure projects are progressing."

The work would employ as many as 350 workers, he said.

The 2018 Budget allocated $275 million for the DHB to begin upgrading key infrastructure, including lifts, fire protection systems, boilers, electrical substations and water systems, which work on was progressing well, Hipkins said.

Site investigations and other preparations were underway, with work expected to start in October.