Wellington’s existing children’s hospital, which has been operating for 30 years, is set to be replaced, thanks to a generous donation by a local property developer.
Mark Dunajtschik has donated $50m to the Capital and Coast District Health Board, and will oversee the design and construction himself to ensure that the funds return the maximum possible outcome.
Speaking at a press conference arranged to break the news, Dunajtschik said: “I want to build the hospital, not just write out the cheque, most benefactors write out a cheque, but in this case, that wouldn't get nearly as much done for the money. I can use my skill as a builder and developer to get the maximum value out of the $50m I'm donating for our children.”
His generosity was praised by the Health Board’s chief executive, Debbie Chin, who said: “We had been working on a long-term plan for children’s health services, which included a new hospital, but building wasn't going to start for several years. Mr Dunajtschik's generosity means we'll get the hospital much sooner."
Prime Minister, Bill English, also echoed this praise: “This is someone with a big heart, helping people who cannot help themselves. He has supported causes for decades now without any recognition. We are grateful for his generosity.”
Dunajtschik estimated that the new hospital, which will contain 7000 square meters of floorspace over three levels, will be complete within 18 months of planning permission being granted. A stage that he expects to take no longer than 6 months.
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