Candidates have their say at Balclutha
The countdown to the general election was marked in the Clutha-Southland electorate last Thursday with a meet the candidates evening, hosted by Balclutha Rotary Club.
Dunedin Hospital’s $1.2b to $1.4b rebuild was one of the hot topics discussed, with Labour candidate Cherie Chapman hinting ahead of party leader Jacinda Ardern’s announcement on Friday, that a Labour Government would aim to get the project started in its first term.
Comments from the floor indicated a level of frustration at the length of time the rebuild would take, an estimated seven to 10 years. National candidate Hamish Walker said it was not a project that could or should be rushed.
Greens candidate Rachael Goldsmith agreed that despite the health concerns of ‘‘flaking paint’’ in the run-down hospital, in principal it needed to be done right.
However, New Zealand First candidate Mark Patterson said the Government had been promising a new hospital for a long time, and was in favour of getting the project started immediately to reduce waiting lists.
Clutha-Southland candidates (from left): NZ First’s Mark Patterson, National’s Hamish Walker, Labour’s Cherie Chapman and Green’s Rachael Goldsmith.