Independent candidate Raf Manji has proposed building a 500-space car parking building, costing up to $20 million, next to Christchurch Hospital.
The proposal comes amid concerns for the safety of hospital staff while a shortage of nearby car parking forces staff to park long distances away from the hospital and walk back to their cars on their own late at night or pay high fees at commercial parking buildings closer to work.
In April, a nurse was assaulted on her way to work, while another nurse raised concerns after getting a $65 parking ticket after staying late to help a patient in cardiac arrest. More than 500 staff are on waiting lists for two staff car parking buildings.
Under the Ilam candidate’s proposal, a 500-space car parking building would be built opposite the Christchurch Hospital outpatients building, on St Asaph St. The building, previously pegged as a site for a new car park building, would be connected to the hospital by an air bridge.
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The building would cost about $15m to $20m, and be funded from Manji’s proposed $1 billion investment fund for Christchurch, drawn from the fiscal surplus over eight years.
“Seven years after the first earthquakes this issue remains bogged down by bureaucratic process and political infighting,” he said.
“It’s about time we gave some certainty to patients, staff and visitors, that they have a safe and affordable place to park, which is connected to the hospital.”
Manji said the hospital redevelopment and wider health precinct were major assets that “benefit the whole of the South Island”.
“Leaving something as fundamental to its success as the provision of good car parking to the market was patently unacceptable.”
The car parking building would run as a non-profit enterprise, owned and operated by either the hospital, the Christchurch City Council’s development company, or the council’s community development group.