Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard
Question No. 3—Health
3. ANAHILA KANONGATA’A-SUISUIKI (Labour) to the Minister of Health: What recent announcements has he made about upgrading vital infrastructure at Auckland City Hospital?
Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Health): Yesterday, I visited Auckland City Hospital to view the infrastructure upgrade programme that they have been progressing using Budget 2018 funding of $275 million.
Chris Bishop: Budget 2018!
Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: This includes upgrading and replacing key infrastructure—just hold on for a moment—including lifts, fire protection systems, boilers, electrical substations, and water systems. They have been making such good progress that the Government is now able to help fund the second phase of this very important work, so I was able to announce an additional $262 million for Auckland City Hospital that will help to fund new central plant and service tunnels, new tanks, pumps, and air handling systems.
Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki: Why is this investment required?
Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: Most of the infrastructure at Auckland City Hospital is almost 50 years old, and the majority of the site relies on services from a central plant building. Infrastructure failure could compromise the entire hospital system’s network and its ability to provide care that New Zealanders need. Unfortunately, this is a risk for many of our hospitals up and down the country, and that’s why we’re improving hospital infrastructure in DHBs with a $3.5 billion allocation of funding for this purpose so far to date. The funding I confirmed yesterday brings this Government’s investment in core Auckland DHB assets to more than half a billion dollars in just two years as we make up for a decade of neglect.
Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki: When will the second phase of infrastructure upgrades at Auckland City Hospital get under way?
Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: More good news: the work is already under way. Initial work, like site investigation, surveys, and testing are progressing well, and the physical work is due to begin in October. This is a significant piece of work, and, at its peak, the project will require as many as 350 extra workers on site. Confirmation of this project sends a strong signal to the construction sector that the Government has a rolling maul of major construction work to provide confidence and support to the businesses and their workers.