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Work begins on Niue hospital project

Work begins on Niue hospital project

The building phase of the New Zealand funded project to build a new hospital on Niue has commenced, Aid Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"Niue's hospital was destroyed during Cyclone Heta in January 2004. Since then NZAID, New Zealand's international aid and development agency, has been working with the Government of Niue on plans to rebuild it. It is very satisfying and exciting to know that the hospital is now under construction.

"Work on clearing the new site has begun and construction is likely to commence in March 2005," Marian Hobbs said.

"Since the Prime Minister announced that New Zealand would fund this project at the Taoga Niue Fono in October there has been much anticipation. I am sure knowing that the project is well underway, will bring comfort to not only those living on Niue, but also the many thousands of New Zealander’s who have family in Niue.

"The hospital will also cover primary health services, as well as emergency and obstetrics.

"NZAID has worked closely with the Government of Niue, the New Zealand Ministry of Health and other relevant NZ agencies and departments to ensure the hospital is part of an integrated, quality, health care system in Niue.

"Building the hospital is just the first step. Strong linkages with the New Zealand health system are planned, through a partnership with Counties Manukau District Health Board. This, plus the new facilities, will allow the new hospital to deliver a higher standard of care than before the cyclone.

"After an open tender process, the Government of Niue has awarded the contract to build the hospital to BC Construction Ltd, a NZ-based company.

"NZAID, with the Niue Government's agreement, has contracted AC Consulting Group Ltd to provide management oversight of the hospital project.

"The total cost of the project to build the new hospital is $6.5 million. Other donors will provide the medical equipment and supplies.

"Until the new hospital is complete, Niue has an interim facility established with the assistance of the Australian Government, which provides a basic level of service. Any patients requiring more specialist care are currently being treated in New Zealand," Marian Hobbs said.

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