Work underway to demolish old Masterton hospital

15 February 2021

Work is underway at the old Masterton hospital to enable demolition to start in April.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), which manages the property on behalf of the Crown, is overseeing the large and complex demolition.

LINZ Land and Property Manager Matt Bradley says a lot of crucial work has been going on behind the scenes over the last couple of months to prepare for the demolition of the 26 buildings that are no longer fit for purpose as a medical facility, or viable to repair.

This has included extensive archaeological, cultural and environmental assessments, rerouting vital services that were shared with the Wairarapa Hospital and Masterton Medical Centre, and establishing a temporary access road to the site. Local iwi also carried out a karakia on site with the project team.

Mr Bradley says contractors are now carefully working to remove asbestos and salvage as much material as possible before demolition is expected to start in April.

“Given the significance and scale of the site, minimising waste was a key priority for us. Our demolition experts have come up with a plan that will see around 2500 cubic metres – equivalent to the volume of an Olympic sized swimming pool – of material diverted from landfill.”

Mr Bradley says the demolition will be carried out in stages as part of efforts to minimise the impact on the neighbouring Wairarapa Hospital and Masterton Medical Centre.

“Minimising disruption to the operational hospital and medical centre is paramount. A range of measures will be used to minimise noise, vibration and dust, including specialist equipment to dampen down dust and acoustic barriers.”

The first building to come down will be the old teaching annex, followed by the maternity ward. He says contractors will then systematically work their way west across the site.

The demolition is expected to be completed by mid 2022.

The former hospital is one of around 900 properties including former prisons, schools, houses, and other hospitals that are managed and maintained by LINZ and earmarked for future Treaty settlements.  

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