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Ministry Of Health In Talks For Next Planning And Design Stage In The New Dunedin Hospital Build

Key steps on the pathway to finalising the design and build of Dunedin’s new hospital are now underway.

Discussions on the contract for the Inpatient Building have begun between the Ministry of Health and CPB Contractors Pty Ltd (CPB), which is the preferred respondent for a pre-construction contract for the New Dunedin Hospital Inpatient Building.

The input of this building company is important for ensuring we get it right for the next 18 months of design and build planning, and leading into construction.

“This is a significant step in the construction of the $1.47 billion New Dunedin Hospital,” says Acting Deputy Director-General Infrastructure Karen Mitchell.

“We went to the market with our requirements which brought in three quality proposals. Throughout this process, CPB demonstrated a depth of experience delivering complex, large-scale projects and numerous hospital developments, including the recently completed Waipapa hospital project in Christchurch," she says.

Subject to final agreement on the pre-construction contract, CPB will work with the New Dunedin Hospital project team and actively contribute to the remaining design stages, and planning and costing the construction of the Inpatient Building.

Further information will be made available once the discussions have concluded.


The New Dunedin Hospital is the largest health infrastructure project in the country. The new hospital will have more beds (increase from 352 to 421) and its design and use of latest technology will mean better patient flow around the hospital and better access to diagnostics and treatment spaces. This efficiency and reduction in unnecessary delays will be great for patients across the entire Southern region and great for staff.

Compared to the Inpatient Building the Outpatient Building is smaller, less complex and has a shorter construction time of three years. The Outpatient Building (otherwise referred to as an ‘Ambulatory Services Building’) follows, to a large extent, the design of the Waipapa Outpatient Building in Christchurch.

In contrast, the Inpatient Building (the ‘Acute Services Building’) is significantly larger, more complex and will take five years to construct. Delivering this requires a highly collaborative approach with the construction industry. Appointing a Main Contractor for a pre-construction ECE phase is highly beneficial to the project, allowing the contractor to proactively contribute to the building’s design and buildability, and planning and pricing the subsequent construction phases.

An open and competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) was released via the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) to the market on 26 November 2020, for the New Dunedin Hospital Inpatient Building Early Contractor Engagement and Vertical Build Main Contractor. The RFP closed on 18 March 2021, with three quality proposals being received and subsequently evaluated.

Prior to the ECE pre-construction contract being awarded commercially sensitive discussions will be undertaken with CPB. These discussions involve final clarifications relating to CPB’s proposal, to be resolved to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Health. The discussions do not create any legally binding obligations between CPB and the Ministry of Health, which occurs when both parties execute the ECE pre-construction contract.

Questions and Answers

1. What is an Early Contractor Engagement (ECE) approach?
Early Contractor Engagement (ECE), or Early Contractor Involvement (ECI), is the involvement of a construction main contractor ‘builder’ earlier in the process to contribute to the building’s design and construction planning. This early involvement is intended to reduce design and price risk. It has been adopted for the New Dunedin Hospital Inpatient Building following extensive industry engagement, and includes the early involvement of a main contractor and key sub-trade firms. An ECE approach is generally attractive to Main Contractors as a collaborative model well suited to large, complex, high-risk projects. 

2. Can you tell me more about who bid – how many, were they NZ companies, etc?
Three quality proposals were received and evaluated. Further details are commercially sensitive at this time.

3. Does the ECE/Inpatient Building Contractor get the Outpatient Building too?
No. A separate, open and competitive procurement process will be undertaken for the Outpatient Building. Request for Proposals (RFP) for the construction of the Outpatient Building will be released later in 2021 on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) website.

4. Will you be seeking an Early Contractor for the Outpatient Building?
No. The Outpatient Building is small and less complex with a construction period of three years. The building has (in practice) been built before in New Zealand and it follows, to a large extent, the design of the Waipapa Outpatient Building in Christchurch. An ECE arrangement is therefore not appropriate for the Outpatient Building.

5. When does construction start on the Inpatient Building? 
Construction of the Inpatient Building will begin late in 2023.

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