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There’s a small and mighty team on an epic demolition mission to clear the old Cadbury factory site which will make way for the New Dunedin Hospital’s Inpatient building, due to open in April 2028.

The New Dunedin Hospital project is working with Ceres New Zealand who specialise in large-scale projects of this nature, to plan and execute the complex demolition and deconstruction of the site and manage recycling of construction materials.

The expert Ceres staff on site at the New Dunedin Hospital project have come from around the country and while Dunedin isn’t home to some, they’ve travelled as a team from job to job as a strong ‘family’.

The youngest on site is 18, and the oldest is 67, and most are full time, with some as labour hire. Other experts have joined them on site along the way to undertake electrical work, piling, lead paint removal and additional asbestos removal.

It will be no surprise that the old Cadbury site has some asbestos, as did other buildings of its time. Ceres are experts in the safe removal of hazardous construction waste, and over 200 tonne of asbestos waste has been removed. There’s a little more to come, with the final asbestos now being removed from the former Lighting Direct Building.

There have been 72,000 ‘man’ hours worked at the site so far. But the crew aren’t just male of course, and two key roles on site – Health & Safety Advisor and Supervisor – are managed by women attracted to the industry for its scale and challenge.

We asked Rachel Finnegan, Ceres NZ Supervisor, what she enjoyed the most about the New Dunedin Hospital project.

“This is the most high-profile job I’ve done and probably more meaningful because there’s a hospital going in. Compared to what I’ve done before, this is definitely up the scale. I enjoy the challenge,” says Rachel.

Mike Barns, New Dunedin Hospital Programme Manager, said he was mighty proud of the mighty team on site.

“The demolition team have worked 72,000 hours on site and more than 8,600 tonnes of material have been removed. 82% of those materials removed have been recycled,” says Mike.

Demolition on the Inpatient site is expected to be complete by the end of the year, and subject to consent, enabling works for constructing the Outpatient building (due to open January 2025) will start in January 2022.

The New Dunedin Hospital project expects to lodge its building consent application under the fast-track consenting process by September 2021 when the required design documentation is ready.

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