Alliance Party asks why Queen Mary Hospital has been saved by DOC - but for what purpose?
Alliance Party Media Release - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Alliance Party Health Spokesperson Tom Dowie is disappointed that the Department of Conservation isn't in the job of
conserving our drug and alcohol treatment facilities.
The government has announced that the Department of Conservation is the new owner of the historic buildings at the Queen
Mary Hospital site in Hamner Springs.
"While on the surface this may seem great, the Alliance asks as to what are the buildings going to be used for? Flash
huts for those tramping through the Hamner forests? A place to show videos of the great outdoors to visitors in?" says
Mr Dowie feels that this is a huge waste of one of the finest treatment facilities in the world.
"Over 35,000 Kiwis have been through that centre and have gone on to lead productive and fulfilling lives. To turn it
into an outdoor education centre when every day we are bombarded with evidence of the 'P' and other drug crime epidemics
bombarding our country is barmy to say the least."
Mr Dowie argues that with the Alliance Party's dedicated 1% Health Levy, the extra $900 million raised from it will
ensure that there is enough money to re-open the Queen Mary facility.
"Previous media reports have shown that lack of facilities and access to proper drug rehabilitation treatment costs the
country over $283 million in drug related crime. It cost nowhere near that amount to operate the facility and the value
to the families and friends of those lives saved and changed by Queen Mary cannot be counted in dollar terms," he says.