Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced that the New Dunedin Hospital will be built on the old Cadbury Chocolate Factory site and parts of surrounding blocks.

“This is a red letter day for the people of the South who have waited too long for their new hospital. Today’s announcement is a major milestone and means we will deliver on our commitment to start construction within this term of Parliament,” David Clark said.

“Avoiding further delay will minimise costs and gives certainty to all involved in this major undertaking.

“Everyone knows the current hospital buildings are in a bad way, with leaks and asbestos - and they are deteriorating. I’m pleased that after years of delays we are finally on the way to providing the 21st century health facilities the people of the region deserve.”

The site was chosen to maintain the compact and central nature of Dunedin’s health and education facilities while giving flexibility for the final design and allowing for further development later.

The Government is in negotiations with the owners of the Cadbury site and has begun the process of purchasing the city block next door to the North.

“The hospital will not only be the largest building in Dunedin but also one of the most complex and challenging construction projects ever seen in New Zealand.

“When construction on the $1.2 to $1.4 billion project is in full swing it will employ 1000 workers on site. Construction will start before the next election and is due for completion in 2026.

“When it’s finished the new hospital will be the most modern hospital in New Zealand, ready to serve the people of the South for decades to come,” David Clark said.