28 Jul 2023

Government announces $73m to begin long-awaited Nelson Hospital redevelopment

2:13 pm on 28 July 2023
Nelson Hospital sign

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

An initial cash injection of $73 million to begin work on the long-awaited redevelopment of Nelson Hospital has been announced by the government.

The funding will go towards design work for a new acute services building with 255 beds and a larger emergency department, as well as seismic strengthening.

The hospital currently has 161 beds and six theatre rooms.

The overall development is estimated to cost $1.098 billion over 10 years - with construction to begin in 2026.

Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall said the current hospital is too small, poorly configured, and partly earthquake-prone.

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall at a post Cabinet meeting media standup on 3 July, 2023.

Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

"It's an exciting project which will provide a stronger health system for the people at the top of the south/Te Tau Ihu," Verrall said.

"The hospital will be modern and fit-for-purpose for patients and their whānau. Our health sector staff also deserve workspaces that enable them to provide the best care, and to be safe at work."

The redevelopment was expected to make the hospital for efficient, effective and include an ED that meets Australian standards.

"Another key reason for the redevelopment is ensuring Nelson Hospital can provide care should a significant earthquake occur on the Alpine fault line. It's important that our facilities are resilient and can continue operating," Verrall said.

"It will also allow us to keep up with the region's growing and ageing population by helping future-proof the centre of Nelson's health network, providing accessible, quality health services for the community."

Verrall said the redeveopment of one of more than 100 health-related infrastructure projects planned.

The projects were worth $7.7b.

"Ensuring our health infrastructure is up-to-date and fit-for-purpose means New Zealanders will be able to better access the health services they need," she said.

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