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Canterbury DHB Queen Mary Land Decision Friday

Sale of Queen Mary Land decision to be made by Canterbury District Health Board on Friday

Many Hanmer Springs and North Canterbury residents are waiting with anxious anticipation this week for the decision to be made on the sale of the Queen Mary Hospital land by the Canterbury District Health Board at its Friday March 12th. meeting.

Views of the local community were expressed to the Board in submissions late last year, and were overwhelmingly in support of retaining the land in public hands.

Submissions emphasized that once prime property such as Queen Mary with its historical, clinical and spiritual heritages goes it cannot either be reclaimed or replaced. The three Board Members who attended the submissions hearing were impressed with the number of people who attended that meeting.

However, although the Health Board is obliged by law to be aware of the views of the community, they do not have to let those views affect their decision making.

³It seems a bit pointless to spend a lot of money canvassing peoples¹ views and then discard them² said Dr Robert Crawford, chairman of the Queen Mary Reserve Trust ³ The Board's recommendation is very black and white: sell it, or keep losing money on it.

There could be a middle way. We maintain the land was originally conceived as a Reserve and should be transferred to another Crown entity such as the Department of Conservation, and then be vested in the Hurunui District Council who could manage it in partnership with the Trust.²

The Trust supports the continued growth that is occurring in Hanmer Springs, but maintains along with most of the local community that the loss of the Queen Mary land will completely destroy the beauty and tranquillity that the growth was predicated on in the first place.

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