The Southern Partnership Group held its first meeting for 2018 today, and progressed the process of site selection. Chair Pete Hodgson described the process as ‘on track’.
“It is an exacting business. But we are making good headway, and we are confident of having a recommendation to Ministers by the end of March. We are still amassing advice and data and still testing the options. It is an important decision for the future of Dunedin so it needs to get some serious attention.
“ We are using over twenty different criteria to try and weigh the various pros and cons. However in the final analysis the site we choose will come down to an overall assessment rather than just dispassionate arithmetic”
Mr Hodgson said that the input from last week’s first Local Advisory Group meeting was well received.
“In my view that input added some colour, knowledge and vision that one simply cannot extract from a topographical map or a table of traffic flows. Last week’s meeting has added vitality to the debate, which was well received by the SPG.”
Mr Hodgson would not be drawn on any further detail on site selection saying that it was important that the process did not become speculative.
The SPG has agreed to set up a special website for those interested in the new hospital project, though it will take ‘a couple of months’ before it is up and running.
“We want to be as open as the rules will allow. I hope the public will enjoy being able to access progress from just one source, even if some of the detail will be a bit specialized or dry.”