3 Apr 2018

Watch: Simon Bridges on Middlemore Hospital problems

9:47 am on 3 April 2018

National Party leader Simon Bridges is refusing to accept responsibility for infrastructure problems at Middlemore Hospital that came to light under its watch.

Simon Bridges will stand for National Party leader.

National Party leader Simon Bridges Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

RNZ has been reporting for the past two weeks about buildings at Middlemore Hospital which are full of rot and dangerous mould. There are also issues with asbestos and raw sewage leaking into the walls.

Today, RNZ's Phil Pennington has reported on problems with power supply at the hospital.

The Counties Manukau District Health Board has said it became aware it had four badly leaking buildings between 2012 and 2013 - when National was in power.

Watch: Mr Bridges speaking to Philippa Tolley on Morning Report

Mr Bridges told Morning Report his party were strong economic managers during tough times.

"I think ultimately you've got to say these are specific issues at a DHB that aren't good enough, totally accept that.

"But remember we didn't have all the choices that this government's blessed with from a very strong legacy from good economic management.

"We had to get through a [global financial crisis,] we had to get through earthquakes."

He said the-then government increased health funding by more than $800 million a year, taking it to record funding levels of investment.

"Talk is cheap, [the government should] show us the money and let's see what happens," Mr Bridges said.

He said he could not say when he found out about issues at the hospital but he has been following RNZ's recent coverage.

Mr Bridges said former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman was aware of the DHB's desire for more money, but not these specific issues.

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