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Unwanted hospital land up for sale

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 05/03/2014
Manukau Land for Sale
SELLING OFF: Counties Manukau Health is taking applications for purchase on a plot of land at 260 Botany Rd directly behind Eastcare Accident and Medical Centre and Botany Community Maternity Unit.

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A 3.5 hectare section of land once earmarked for a large public hospital is on the market.

Counties Manukau Health wants to subdivide the 260 Botany Rd site and dispose of the vacant land, subject to the approval of the health minister.

Health board deputy chief executive Ron Pearson says money is not the driver for the sale of the land, which is designated for health purposes.

"Even if we sell it, we are required to go to the health minister, community and Maori."

The land was purchased in the 1980s when Auckland was governed by one health board, he says.

But it became the property of Counties Manukau Health when the board split into three and has been sitting idle since.

Mr Pearson says population growth in the east was then occurring at a rapid rate and it was thought two acute hospitals, like Middlemore, would be needed within 10km of one another.

But population growth slowed in the east and shifted further south, until now.

The block of land sits behind and adjacent to the Eastcare Accident and Medical Centre and Botany Community Maternity Unit.

Mr Pearson says use of the plot has potential to significantly assist in the rollout of the Locality Clinical Partnership.

The localities project is a health board initiative that divides the district into four areas to focus on expanding primary care's role and ensure patients get right-first-time service.

The eastern locality represents 29 per cent of the Counties Manukau population. That's about 142,000 people.

Health board primary and community director Benedict Hefford says there has been a population boom in the east and an increase in demand for health services over the past few years.

"Counties has one of the highest population growths in the country and it's an ageing population.

"In 10 years time there will be 60 per cent more people over the age of 65 than there are now."

Expressions of interest are being sought from organisations that are interested in the vacant land and developing a community health hub or service on the site.

Email louise.zacest@middlemore. co.nz for further information about the sale.

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- Eastern Courier

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