Otago Daily Times
St John application to use Awamoa Park site open for public discussion
ST John is formally seeking to build its new Oamaru ambulance base at Awamoa Park.
The Waitaki District Council will undertake public consultation from February 26 to hear the community’s perspective on the issue.
St John has asked to lease part of the park from the council, to establish and operate its new facility, as its Coquet St premises are no long fit for purpose.
The proposed Awamoa Park site is located next to Oamaru’s ‘‘unofficial car sale yard’’, off Wansbeck St.
It meets the organisation’s operational requirements and response times, is a central location with arterial access and not in a tsunami zone.
St John South Island general manager Craig Stockdale said it was a suitable site for the organisation to respond to the community’s needs.
‘‘We look forward to hearing the public’s view in what will be an open consultation that will help inform council and allow them to make a decision. St John will be engaging with the community during the consultation period,’’ he said.
St John has been seeking a new site since 2014. Six were investigated and Awamoa Park was identified as a potential site during engagement with the council nearly four years ago.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the council understood it was a proposal bound to create discussion.
‘‘If you have a view on whether it should proceed or not, then we want to hear from you.
‘‘We would like to know your thoughts on why it is or isn’t something you would be happy to see happen. Our councillors and I look forward to reading the range of views before we get to the difficult part — making the decision,’’ he said.
St John’s building, which was established in 1981, requires extensive renovation and extra facilities, including more overnight accommodation for increased staff members, due to national doublecrewing standards.
It is within a tsunami zone, constrained for further expansion and there were limitations to access, affecting St John’s capability to respond to an emergency.
The consultation period closes on March 26, and a council hearing will be held on April 13, if required.
The council’s decision is due to be released on May 11.