Thoughts wanted on future of Queen Mary Hospital Site

Six hectares of land along with the old Soldiers’ Block, Chisholm Ward and Nurses Hostel were last month vested with the Hurunui District Council. This followed a seven year campaign to retain the property in public ownership after it became surplus to the Canterbury District Health Board’s requirements.

As part of its stewardship role the Council must prepare a management plan for the new historic reserve to provide for and ensure its continued use, protection and preservation.

Environmental Services Manager, Andrew Feierabend says while technically it has five years to complete the task, the council wants to progress things as quickly as possible in recognition of the high level of public interest in the site.

“There are a lot of people, not just in Hurunui but throughout New Zealand, who have a strong association with the old hospital site and want to know that it will be properly cared for and managed into the future. The Management Plan is key to that and we recognise the need to complete it as soon as possible to provide some surety the asset will not only be looked after but also utilised in a way that is commercially viable and in a way our community wants.”

A stakeholder group of councillors and key stakeholders have been tasked with drafting the plan which will include management objectives and policies for future management of the area.

Andrew Feierabend says this group has already engaged with a number of interested parties and made substantial progress on developing a framework for the plan.

“This has been very helpful in identifying key values and priorities and ‘getting everything on the table’ up front, rather than relying solely on a formal submission process.

“It is important they now also appreciate and understand the views of the wider community who also have thoughts and views on the future of the site before committing anything to paper.”

As well as any overall ideas or comments, the stakeholder group is specifically interested in understanding people’s views on:

The community will have another opportunity to comment once the draft plan is publicly notified later this year.

Any thoughts should be forwarded in writing to Liz White (Senior Planner), Hurunui District Council, PO Box 13, Amberley 7441 by 20 October 2010.

For further information contact:  
Andrew Feierabend
Environmental Services Manager
Hurunui District Council
03 314 0013

The stakeholder group is made up of: The Mayor, Councillor Malthus (Hanmer Springs Ward), Councillor Meikle (Amuri-Hurunui Ward), the Chair of the Hanmer Springs Community Board, The New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Te Runanga o Kaikoura, Queen Mary Reserve Trust, Department of Conservation, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa Management Committee, Hanmer Springs Business Association & Ngai Tahu Property.