Can­di­dates have their say at Bal­clutha

Clutha Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - MARY-JO TOHILL

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.

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