Generous donation – why was it necessary to get a hospital built?

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, July 11th, 2017 - 28 comments
Categories: health, infrastructure - Tags: , , , , , ,

Thank you Mark Dunajtschik:

Businessman to donate $50m for new children’s hospital

A wealthy property developer is to build and gift a new $50 million children’s hospital in Wellington. Mark Dunajtschik signed an agreement with Capital & Coast District Health Board this morning to build the facility, which would have 50 inpatient hospital beds as well as space for families.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomed the generosity of Mr Dunajtschik, who he said had been a substantial benefactor in the areas of health, sport and education for 40 years. This latest act of giving back was unparalleled, he said.

Capital & Coast DHB chairman Andrew Blair, who made the initial announcement, said the offer was “amazingly generous” and would have a big impact on patients, families and staff.

The existing children’s hospital was nearly 30 years old and no longer fit for purpose, he said. “We’ve been working on a long-term plan for child health services, which included a new children’s hospital – but building wasn’t going to start for several years. “Mr Dunajtschik’s generosity means we’ll get the hospital much sooner.”

This is great news! But it does raise an obvious point:

A leading child health expert said it should not have taken the multi-million dollar gift to get a new children’s hospital in the capital.

Paediatric Society president David Newman said it was wonderful but should not have had to wait for private support. “You only build a hospital facility once every 20 or 30 years. It does need to be planned for, it does need to be paid for … But to not do it to save money does not help in the provision of high-quality health care that we expect in this country.”

28 comments on “Generous donation – why was it necessary to get a hospital built?”

  1. Reality 1

    Inappropriate for the PM and Minister of Health to be at the announcement wanting to have their photo ops. Given the overdue need for an upgrade for some years, where has government planning for this facility been? Off the radar, but hey they want to share in reflected glory from this amazing offer.

    • Richard McGrath 1.1

      Exactly – this is a private act of generosity, the politicians should stay in their trough and STFU.

  2. UncookedSelachimorpha 2

    The dream of neoliberals – no public services, just reliance on the charity of the rich. Our system allows a handful of unelected (and typically antisocial and selfish) rich people to choose whether the populace should have a hospital or not.. Or should I buy myself a super yacht instead?

    While the current act of generosity deserves praise, public services should not be left to the choices of the rich. Occasional acts of philanthropy need to be viewed in context of the rich overwhelmingly extracting from society, not giving.

  3. gsays 3

    The other question in my mind: is it really a donation when he is signed up to do the building.?
    Perhaps kickstarter is more accurate.

    Doesn’t he get 25% back in tax?

    To me a donation is given, no strings attached.
    Dollars to doughnuts the project goes way over budget.

  4. McFlock 4

    Nicely put – It’s like thanking someone for giving you a lift when the scheduled bus service simply failed to turn up for no good reason. The person getting in their car to give you a lift deserves grateful thanks, but the only reason they are needed is because of a systemic failure somewhere. Otherwise you should be able to say “nah, all good thanks, it’s here now anyway”.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      The guy said his other option was a Panama Trust….. ( Im sure the other Wellington commercial landlords arent so squeamish)
      It riles him that his biggest tenant ( IRD) came around at the end of the year wanting its rightful tax payments…go figure

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        lol, so not a JKRowling then…

      • mac1 4.1.2

        I heard a comment from the donor about the IRD on the radio, but it sounded in jest, about a certain government department then wanting 30% of its rent paid to him back. He didn’t sound riled, but rather jocular.

    • ropata 4.2

      This Dunajtschik character is a property developer so IMHO a better analogy is the lord of the manor offering one of the peons a lift after stealing his horse

      • Red 4.2.1

        How is building and leasing commercial property akin to stealing someone’s horse… ffs. You guys do yourself no credit at all trying build popular support . you just come across as nasty and unwilling to see any good in anybody unless they bow down to pure left idealogy, keep it up it’s the ugliness of the left that people need to see

      • Grafton Gully 4.2.2

        An greedy old middle finger to the state funded healthcare system he benefited from and now seeks to undermine. Cute name Czech/Slovak Dunaj (Danube) and German Tschik (cigarette butt).

        • McFlock

          Isn’t it a gift to the state funded healthcare system?

          I think he made a generous decision in good faith. The fact that we need to accept it because the health system is clusterkuckedly underfunded… that’s another question entirely. Unless he’s a prominent nat donor, I doubt it’s really his fault.

        • Richard McGrath

          So GG you’d spurn his offer with utter contempt, would you, because it was made by a greedy old white man?

      • Richard McGrath 4.2.3

        Just gobsmacked at that comment, ropata. You probably think all business owners should be hanged.

        • ropata

          yes i have a big problem with the whole real estate industry because it is rife with money laundering and corrupt arseholes making money by scamming people. it’s not honest work

  5. Ad 5

    The premise of this post is misguided.
    When did Capital DHB say it was “not doing it to save money”?
    What I heard their CEO say on RNZ yesterday was that they had it planned, but not for a few years.

    If any stripe of government found this scale of benefactor again, they would be able to build something else in New Zealand with the money saved.

    I could only ever see a National-led government having the ability to induce a culture of philanthropy in New Zealand. That is, to enable the richest of the rich to see that they can go well above and beyond their duty to make a bold and magnanimous gesture. English as PM was there because it was the right thing to do: virtue-signalling.

    The only public NZ institutions that have managed to pull really serious money out of the rich are universities. The good ones have very strong alumni associations. They get to name the wing.
    A few of the big art galleries do it well, via well-oiled membership organizations. They all have large sponsorship boards.

    But a whole hospital being sponsored by one business is as far as I am aware of unheard-of here. You have to go back to the Carnegie libraries.

    I would hope that every public hospital gets to figure out how to tap the rich. Because if they don’t make more magnanimous gestures, the rest of us are the ones ponying up.

    • millsy 5.1

      The old saying “he who pays the piper calls the tune” speaks for itself when it comes to philanthropy.

  6. Keith 6

    There you see, the creepy parasitic self centred wealthy set are nothing of the sort, rather they’re benevolent and quite a nice compliment to modern civilised society.

    This is the way of the future, look after them and there is the much promised flow on effect to the riff raff.

    I know nothing about this man or his motivations but it certainly contributes nicely to preserving the current disproportionate attention given to the rich by National and dug them out of a self dug hole with all the tax cuts.

    But history certainly tells us that extreme wealth does not happen because they are wonderful human beings, rather obsessive types who always want to maximise their return on the dollar. To rely on the elite to throw their change at society to buy their way into the underworld is very retrograde dangerous step.

    • Richard McGrath 6.1

      Trickle down, anyone?

      • adam 6.1.1

        When paying taxes would have had it built sooner. So thanks Richard McGrath for pointing out again the failures of that economic theory.

        • Richard McGrath

          I’m sure Mr D and the rest of us have been paying taxes for years, yet no hospital has been built… why not?

          • adam

            Like I said, not paying taxes. I know you libtards pretend to pay taxes, but if we have learnt anything in the last 30 years is that the rich gave up on social democracy and a inclusive society. So they have not paid taxes, becasue they no longer fear working people.

            • Richard McGrath

              I pay plenty of income tax. Not sure how you can ‘pretend’ to pay tax. IRD will let you know if they think you’re pretending

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