Mayor upbeat about new hospital

By Laura Mills

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says the Grey Base Hospital redevelopment appears imminent,
with the group working on the
rebuild about to report back to the Government.
Health Minister Tony Ryall announced before Christmas that he had formed a partnership group to fast-track the long-promised project.
It was to report back by the end of April, but then delayed that to the end of May.
Mr Ryall said earlier this month the money had been set aside in the budget for a new hospital, but did not say how much.
The rebuild group yesterday briefed Mr Kokshoorn on its work, although the proposal remains confidential as it now heads to the National Capital Committee and then on to cabinet for a final decision.
The Mayor has previously lobbied for 60 to 70 beds, two or three operating theatres and a ‘one-stop health shop’ for Greymouth.
He said today he had been briefed in confidence, but he was happy that things looked “extremely positive”.
“I feel the community has been listened to.”
After years of various rebuild plans — the latest figure to be touted is about $50 million — he felt things were “coming to a head” and a new hospital was “in the pipeline”.
The West Coast District Health Board confirmed today the proposal remained confidential.
Mr Ryall said in 2009, amid concerns Greymouth could lose its hospital, that the Government “is not into closing down hospitals”.
In December last year, he said: “Grey Base Hospital needs to be fixed. It has ageing facilities and has significant seismic issues, and the Government wants to see this happen as soon as possible.”