Majority favour new site for St John base

April 07, 2021

It seems the proposed location of Oamaru’s new ambulance base has public support.

Last month, St John formally asked the Waitaki District Council to lease a section of Awamoa Park to establish a new ambulance base, as its Coquet St premises were no longer fit for purpose.

The site, off Wansbeck St, met St John’s operational requirements and response times, was in a central location with arterial access and not in a tsunami zone.

In public consultation, which closed last Friday , the community was asked if it supported the proposal.

More than half of the public submissions received on the proposal were in favour of the location.

From the 148 submissions received, 59% voted yes, 36% voted no, and 5% voted maybe.

About 15 people indicated they wanted the chance to speak at a hearing, and Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said they would be given a time to do so on April 13.

The process was not just about the numbers, it was about hearing people’s concerns too.

"It’s the quality of what they have to say — some people might be for it but for the wrong reasons, and equally some people might be against it but for the wrong reasons," Mr Kircher said.

"It’s going through them in key detail, and looking at what are the key points people are making, what are their concerns one way or the other, and weighing them up and then making a decision which sometimes it’s hard — it very well may not be a unanimous decision."

He was satisfied with the number of submissions, and would be looking through them within the next week.

The council would deliberate following the hearing, and a decision was due to be released on May 11.