New Zealand-based property investment company Roa has applied for fast-track approval from the New Zealand Government to develop an integrated regional hospital in Wanaka.

The privately funded project will be worth NZ$300m ($179.9m) and aims to significantly enhance healthcare infrastructure in the town of Central Otago.

It is being built to address the growing healthcare service needs of the area’s expanding population.

Roa said it has started the resource consent application for the hospital with the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

The company expects this process to take up to three years or even more, which has led it to push for the hospital to be named in Schedule II of the government’s Fast-track Approvals Bill.

In an effort to expedite the project, the company has also made required submissions to Parliament’s Environment Committee.

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The five-level hospital will offer various medical amenities, including four operating theatres and an emergency department that will be open all hours, as well as imaging services.

It will have more than 70 emergency, inpatient and post-anaesthetic care beds.

The development includes plans for a comprehensive health precinct featuring four new offices for allied medical service purposes, such as treatment and consulting rooms, along with on-site parking.

It will also feature retail and hospitality spaces at the ground level opening out onto a public pedestrian zone.

Roa CEO Mike Saegers said the hospital’s development could begin within 15 months of receiving consent, with a target opening date of 18-24 months thereafter.

He added that delays in consenting ‘translate directly through to delays in doors opening on this much-needed beneficial community health asset’.

New Zealand architectural company Warren and Mahoney has been contracted to design the hospital and surrounding precinct.

Roa is in discussions with private healthcare operators from New Zealand, Australia and the US to manage the hospital once it has opened.