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Labour matches National's promise of new Dunedin hospital - fully funded by the taxpayer

Labour is matching National's promise of a new hospital for Dunedin - but it will be built from public funds.

Jacinda Ardern made the $1.4 billion promise in the southern city today. Source: 1 NEWS

Last week National leader Bill English visited the city, and pledged to rebuild the facility for $1.4 billlion within 7-10 years.

He said National would look at co-funding the project with the private sector and was greeted at the hospital by protesters, rallying against health care cuts.

The protesters stormed into the hospital following Bill English’s announcement over "the complete rebuild" of Dunedin Hospital. Source: 1 NEWS

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says her party would build a new hospital without using PPP (public private partnership) - and says they would relocate it to the city centre.

The construction - also with a $1.4 billion price tag - would begin within a first term of Government.

Ms Ardern says PPP projects have a "disastrous record" in the UK, where they are commonplace.

She quoted London mayor Sadiq Khan who has condemned them as a "millstone around the neck of the English capital's health system".

Ms Ardern said Southern DHB has been chronically underfunded by the Government. She said tendering and agreeing on a contract would "only slow the construction process down".

And it would ultimately lump more costs onto the taxpayer because the contract would have to return a profit to private investors.

"There is enough money in the Government's capital spending allowance to build the hospital without a PPP."

She said the project is "long overdue" for Otago.

"The hospital at present is dangerous and unsafe for staff and patients. Most of the existing buildings would not survive a severe earthquake."