Dunedin Hospital redevelopment project

The Government is building a new hospital in Dunedin.

Find out more on the New Dunedin Hospital website

Dunedin Hospital redevelopment project

Replacing the existing Dunedin Hospital will involve the single biggest hospital build ever in New Zealand – costing up to $1.4 billion.

It will be the most modern hospital in New Zealand, serving the people of Dunedin and the lower South Island for decades to come.

Patients can expect high quality facilities, a better layout of services, modern lighting, more green space and improved signage. The estimated floor area is around 100,000 square metres of new build.

Health systems are evolving and the new hospital will support new models of care which will better meet the community’s future health needs.

A rebuild of this magnitude in central Dunedin will have a big impact on the CBD, creating many opportunities for the community. At its peak, there will be up to 1,000 workers on site.

Site confirmed

On 1 November 2018, the Ministry purchased a large block of land, the former Cadbury site. We also made formal moves to acquire a large neighbouring block of land known as the ‘Wilson Block’.

The CBD was chosen for the new hospital because the land is flat, close to the existing hospital and the University of Otago, and can be easily accessed by public transport. 

Aerial map showing locations where new hospital will be built

Two staged approach

The new Dunedin Hospital will be built in two stages to help relieve pressure and enable the existing hospital to better service the people of Otago and Southland.

Part of the project will be prioritised to build the smaller outpatients and day surgery first. This will enable some services to start operating earlier – approximately November 2023 for day surgery and November 2024 for outpatients’ clinics.

The current hospital does not have adequate day surgery capacity, and this is a key driver of the decision to adopt a two staged approach.

This approach also recognises the need for labour workforce flexibility. Around 350 workers will be needed at peak construction of the outpatients and day surgery building which is more manageable.

The acute inpatient building is expected to be completed in about a decade. 

Ministry’s project team update

In addition to developing the master site plan and deciding on the two staged approach, the Ministry’s project team is progressing a number of key areas.

A number of procurement activities are underway, including engaging a heritage consultant, town planner, and independent quality assurance services. 

Site acquisition activities to source the final land blocks for the new hospital are continuing. This month, a property has been purchased in the middle of the Wilson’s block, and negotiations are progressing constructively on a third property which we hope to purchase early in the New Year. 

The project team is also progressing the demolition process for two derelict buildings on the Cadbury car park site. It is anticipated that these buildings will be removed in January 2019 for health and safety reasons. 

The Ministry is also liaising with Dunedin City Council and Heritage New Zealand on site clearance considerations regarding the listed buildings on site.

Next steps

The master site plan, which is still to be formally approved by the Southern Commissioner and the Director General of Health, is expected to be released in early 2019. The latest geotechnical data on ground conditions is expected shortly, and this will be taken into account in the next design stage.

The design and engineering contracts are due to be awarded early next year. The concept design will be completed for both buildings at the same time to ensure they are compatible. The two buildings may be tendered as two separate contracts, but it is too early in the process to confirm this.

The site preparation and ground works are due to begin in the second half of 2020.

An architect’s rendering of a day surgery/outpatients building. This is a concept image. The design of the building is yet to begin.
An architect’s rendering of a day surgery/outpatients building. This is a concept image. The design of the building is yet to begin.

Business case

A number of commissioned reports and assessments of current health services and structures at the Dunedin Campus informed the Indicative Business Case (pdf, 1.9 MB).

They show deteriorating and inflexible facilities are impacting on the quality of care provided to Southern communities, and Southern DHB faces a number of challenges due to its size, location and demographics, including low population growth and an ageing population.

The documents contain redactions for reasons of commercial sensitivity, confidentiality and privacy.

The Ministry of Health is now working closely with the Southern Partnership Group and Southern DHB on the Detailed Business Case which will cover the detailed design, procurement, and construction phases of the project.

Interim works

Southern DHB is progressing a programme of re-fits and upgrades to ensure clinical services can continue while the longer term redevelopment is carried out. More information is available on the Southern DHB website.

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