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Government must apologise over rebuild debacle

The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.

"For too long the interests of protecting evidence of Government incompetence has prevailed over the public's right to know what decisions are being made, and how.

"The people of Otago have overwhelmingly spoken in favour of the hospital as part of a central city rebuild. They understand the importance of a precinct where people can move on foot between University, laboratories, cafes and operating theatres. The current central city location has been critical to Dunedin's success at recruiting and retaining a world-class medical workforce. 

"In 2014, I became concerned about ongoing delays in the rebuild project and sought answers from then Minister Tony Ryall. He gave assurances a business case would be before cabinet by the end of 2014.

"The Government now says a business case will not be finalised until midway through next year. I'm expecting Bill English to make an announcement on Saturday, paint a rosy picture of progress, but he also needs to provide transparency, capital committed, and a start date for construction.

"After years of delays, the public has grown distrustful. Only a Labour Government can provide confidence of real progress,” says David Clark.