Christchurch mayor silent over much needed public hospital car park

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 16, 2021 |

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is not commenting on whether a much-needed car park for Christchurch Public Hospital is fit for purpose.

Ngai Tahu Property is constructing the car park building, consisting of eight floors and 471 car parks.

At last week’s council meeting councillors Aaron Keown and Yani Johanson requested an amendment wanting the “council to urgently set up a working group between the Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury District Health Board and Ngai Tahu Property to work on a hospital parking design that will meet the needs of the hospital and community.”

But Lianne Dalziel ruled the amendment irrelevant as the council was only voting on changes to street layouts near the car park.

Keown, who’s also a CDHB Board Member said “the car park that is being built is not fit for purpose. It is half the size of what’s needed for the hospital on the hospital campus, and the people of our community.”

Ngāi Tahu Property didn’t answer specific questions put to the company.

When asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the Mayor said she was in meetings and “had a lot on her plate.”

The mayor did have time to co-author an opinion piece several weeks ago on “why Christchurch should become a National Park” an article insiders at council said was a low priority.

Councillor Keown said “the mayor had said it is not the council’s business and I say it is the business of every elected member of the city to make sure the hospital is accessible.”

He said “we the council (public) own all the land around the hospital and new car park. I wanted the airspace we own above the footpath to be included in the design which would add thousands of extra m2 to the design and deliver the capacity we need but I’ve been shut down at every opportunity.”

District Health Board Chief Executive Dr Peter Bramley said he’s acutely aware of the impacts the current lack of parking around the Christchurch Hospital campus has on the community. 

“Car parking in and around the entire Health Precinct is not just a Canterbury DHB issue. The hospital and surroundings have become increasingly congested with the completion of a number of new buildings and a number of new developments underway.”

It is important to note that Canterbury DHB is not funded for, nor is it in the business of, acquiring land to build and then operate public carparks. 

However, the DHB has done whatever it can to improve the situation while a new parking facility is confirmed and built” Dr Bramley said.

 “We strongly support any other initiatives that seek to improve the car parking situation in and around the Christchurch Hospital campus. As such, we welcomed last year’s announcement of additional car parking capacity in close proximity to the campus.

He said “The DHB continues to work to explore options to ensure the community has access to adequate car parking options, to assist Cantabrians in accessing health facilities in Christchurch.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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