Charity hospital build to start

Southland Charity Hospital board trustee Melissa Vining smashed through the wall at demolition of the hospital last year. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

DEMOLITION is set to be completed at the Southland Charity Hospital site, with building to get under way on Monday.

The Southland Charity Hospital will be housed at the former site of the Clifton Club Inn.

Once operational, it will provide healthcare for those living throughout Southland and Otago who are unable to access treatment through the private or public health systems.

Southland Charity Hospital project was spurred by the work of the late cancer care advocate Blair Vining, whose fight for more equitable care for all, regardless of their postcode, garnered support throughout New Zealand.

His wife, Melissa Vining, was one of the team carrying on the torch to ensure southern New Zealanders can access the care they desperately need.

Lead builder Barry Stewart said he was grateful for the support of local tradies and suppliers who had come to the party and donated their time, expertise and materials to bring this incredible cause to life.

While he initially had some doubts about taking on the project, simply due to its scale and the challenge of managing his own staff along with a wide array of volunteers, Stewart said he “slept on it, and decided ‘why not’.”
“I decided we are in as good a position as anyone to make this work, so here we go.

“I think there will be a real sense of community satisfaction in this. We are a cog in the wheel. It is a real community project and Melissa Vining has certainly done a great job to get things rolling. We are pleased to be involved.”