The Order of St John, South Island Region Trust Board (Oamaru) is seeking a lease from Waitaki District Council to establish and operate a purpose-built emergency ambulance base on part of Awamoa Park, Oamaru. The maximum timeframe Council can grant a lease is for a period of less than 35 years.
Council plan to consult with the community on this proposal prior to any decision being made to enter into a lease with St John.
Background: St John's current facility in Coquet Street is not fit for purpose. Built in 1981, the existing station requires extensive renovation and additional facilities including the requirement for more overnight accommodation (bedrooms) to accommodate an increase in staffing numbers (due to new national Double-Crewing standards). Space at the current site for further expansion is constrained. The current facility is also located within a tsunami zone, and there are access limitations to and from the site, including an intersection with traffic lights – limiting St John's capability to respond in an emergency.
Looking for alternatives for a new Oamaru Station began in 2014. Six options were investigated in detail. Awamoa Park was identified as a potential location during engagement with Waitaki District Council in 2017/18. As a result of these initial discussions, St John undertook extensive due diligence, including consultation with the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). The preferred site at Awamoa Park meets operational requirements and response times, is centrally located with good arterial access, and is outside of the tsunami zone.
Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher said, "We realise that this proposal will create a lot of discussion in the community. If you have a view on whether it should proceed or not, then we want to hear from you via the submission process. We would like to know your thoughts on why it is or isn't something you would be happy to see happen. Our Councillors and I look forward to reading the range of views before we get to the difficult part - making the decision! Please take the time to have your say."
St John's South Island General Manager Craig Stockdale said, "Awamoa Park provides a suitable site for us to respond to the needs of the community and we look forward to hearing the public's view in what will be an open consultation that will help inform Council and allow them to make a decision. St John will be engaging with the community during the consultation period."
Want to lodge a submission?
Key dates: Friday 26 February 2021: Consultation opens Friday 26 March 2021: Consultation closes
Tuesday 13 April 2021: Submitters present to Council hearing (if required) and Council deliberations
Tuesday 11 May 2021: Council decision on lease