Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand has received an additional $262m from the government to support the second stage of works that are meant to replace its 50-year-old infrastructure.

At its peak, the project is set to create approximately 350 on site jobs. Initial works such as site investigations, surveys and testing are underway and construction is expected to start in October.

The reconstruction is intended to avoid any infrastructure failure that could impact the entire hospital, which currently depends on services from the central plant building.

As part of the project, the Auckland City Hospital will have a new central plant and service tunnel, along with new tanks, pumps and air-handling systems.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said: “Reliable infrastructure improves safety for patients and staff. It ensures better responsiveness and fewer operational issues. The DHB will also be better positioned for future capacity works to meet growing demand.

“This significant investment will make a real difference. While often behind the scenes, away from patients and whānau, it’s the critical infrastructure that keeps hospitals running.”

The government has committed to invest $3.5bn to improve hospitals and health infrastructure.

A report on the existing state assessment of district health board (DHB) assets revealed multiple issues with core infrastructure across the country, noted Hipkins.

The Ministry’s Health Infrastructure Unit is focused on a work programme to improve infrastructure and asset management, including maintenance and renewal strategies, and planning guidance.

Hipkins added: “Today’s funding, from Budget 2019, brings investment in core Auckland DHB assets to more than half a billion dollars in two years, as this government makes up for a decade of neglect under National.”