INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT: Labour MPs are holding up new hospital

Published: Wed 28 Jul 1999 05:35 PM
Porirua Council, Labour MPs are holding up Wellington's new hospital
Wednesday 28th Jul 1999 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Health
Porirua Council, Labour MPs are holding up Wellington's new hospital
Wellington Central MP Richard Prebble says the Porirua City Council's campaign to relocate Wellington's main hospital to Kenepuru is irresponsible. "Any council can hire a consultant to say anything," Mr Prebble said. "That's what consultants do.
"In the last month the Porirua Council has claimed to have some unknown developer who is willing to finance the hospital at Porirua. Any developer will finance a hospital providing the taxpayer's paying.
"Now they've produced a report which they have commissioned, saying that Kenepuru is cheaper because of a different earthquake risk. Two independent consultancy firms - one an expert in hospitals and the other an expert on hospital design - have both said that the Kenepuru site should be ruled out as being totally unsuitable.
"The site's not even big enough for a start.
"The independent experts say there is only one site they've identified that is anywhere near as good as Newtown - on land near the new stadium, which, as they point out, has two drawbacks: the Government doesn't own it and there is no planning consent.
"The campaign by Porirua City Council supported by Labour MPs has only had one effect - to delay Wellington getting a new hospital.
"Recent Official Information documents show that the Treasury has been advising the Government against building any new hospital in Wellington. This, of course, is the real threat. The Treasury welcomes Porirua's and Labour's turf war over the site because they are giving central government an excuse to delay and perhaps postpone forever a new tertiary hospital for Wellington.
"I regret that the Labour MPs in Wellington haven't spoken out against Porirua's mischief-making and have instead encouraged the Council to waste ratepayers' money with a ludicrous proposal to relocate the main Wellington hospital in Porirua - kilometres away from all the medical support services," Mr Prebble said.

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