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Masterton Hospital demolition now under way

Demolition of the old Masterton Hospital buildings has begun. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Demolition of the old Masterton Hospital buildings has now begun.

Managed by Toitu Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand [LINZ] on behalf of the Crown, the demolition had so far seen six smaller buildings deconstructed, including the old teaching annexe.

LINZ land and property manager Matt Bradley said demolition of the 26 buildings was progressing well.

“Over the last few months, the focus has been on salvaging as much material as possible before demolition got under way, but this also influenced the way in which we removed these buildings,” he said.

“Rather than tearing them down, which would’ve been an easier and faster option, they were carefully deconstructed to save any material that could be repurposed, including all the native timber framing.”

This approach had meant about 500 cubic metres of material had been salvaged, roughly the volume of 20 milk tankers, with more expected as work continued.

“It’s been extremely rewarding for all the crews involved to know they’re helping preserve a part of the hospital’s history, as well as benefit the environment by preventing unnecessary waste going to landfill,” Bradley said.

Work would begin on removing the larger buildings later this year.

The first larger building to come down would be the old boiler house, followed by the three-storey ward, nurses’ home, Nightingale ward, and maternity ward.

“We expect these buildings will come down much quicker, as the hard work has already been done removing any salvageable material and asbestos from the structures. This next phase will involve more machinery than manpower.”

Contractors would continue to minimise any disruption to essential services, Wairarapa Hospital, and Masterton Medical Centre, Bradley said.

“Things will ramp up now the weather is improving, and we’re in alert level 2.”

The demolition was expected to be completed by mid-2022, with the land earmarked for future treaty settlement.

Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa had initialled a deed of settlement for the site. Once the deed was enacted, it would have one year to decide whether it wished to purchase the property.

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