Christchurch Hospital Redevelopment – Acute Services Building

Future capacity to meet critical healthcare needs in the South Island

The Acute Services Building (ASB) at Christchurch Hospital is the largest government project in the Canterbury rebuild programme and a significant investment in the future health needs of the Canterbury region. Located behind Christchurch Women’s Hospital in the inner city of Christchurch, the project has a base value of $483m and is scheduled to open in 2019.

Due to the site’s location, adjacent to the sensitive environmental setting of Hagley Park, there was a high probability that applying for resource consent for the project would result in the planning process becoming protracted through public notification of the application and potential Court appeals. Such a process would have made it impossible for key project milestones to be delivered. Accordingly, a request was made to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery to use powers under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to designate the site of the ASB to expedite its development and approve an associated outline of plan of works under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Boffa Miskell was engaged to prepare a planning evaluation, including an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) to support the request for designation to the Minister of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery. In addition, Boffa Miskell provided urban design, landscape assessment and architecture services for the project. Boffa Miskell’s planning role included advising the Ministry on consenting strategy, working with the design team to address environmental constraints, and co-ordinating other specialised technical assessments to inform the AEE.

The planning evaluation prepared by Boffa Miskell assisted the Minister of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery in making the decision to approve the designation of the site of the Acute Services Building in such time to enable the project to proceed to detailed design and be constructed in time for its original completion date of 2018. The planning work was delivered within its original agreed budget with no contract variations.

Boffa Miskell successfully:

–  Understood project functionality and buildability constraints.
Obtained RMA approvals through a bespoke planning process.
Complied with all contract management requirements, including timeliness & budget.
Provided advice and delivered all documentation to a high quality.

Following the inclusion of the designation in the Christchurch City Plan, Boffa Miskell subsequently prepared and presented evidence in support of the rollover of the designation for the ASB into the Christchurch Replacement District Plan. This evidence resulted in the Independent Hearings Panel tasked with making decisions on the Plan, determining to rollover the designation, and provide continued certainty for development of the project.

Construction projects in the health sector of this size and scale are relatively rare in the New Zealand market says Ken Gimblett, Planner and Partner. “We are proud of our involvement as planning specialists for the largest health construction project currently underway in New Zealand.”

For further information contact Ken Gimblett

Our role

Planning Evaluation, Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE), Urban Design, Landscape Assessment and Architecture

The facts

ClientMinistry of Health, Canterbury DHB
Project teamKen Gimblett
Tim Church
Jane Rennie
Maurice Dale
Worked with

Thinc Health

Chow Hill and Warren and Mahoney architects

Greenwood Roche Project Lawyers

Marshall Day Acoustics

Urbis Transportation

Underground Overground Archaeology

Arbor Vitae Arborists


Project dateDecember 2013-February 2014, ongoing