Health Minister Tony Ryall says all district health boards will be asked to consider public-private partnerships, or PPPs, for future hospital building projects.
Mr Ryall has given the Canterbury District Health Board the go-ahead to plan the rebuilding of Christchurch and Burwood hospitals.
He has told them to sound out what opportunities exist for a PPP to build the new facilities.
"We will be wanting all district health boards that have very, very significant capital projects to look at options around public-private parternships," Mr Ryall says, adding that PPP arrangements would apply only to the building, maintenance and administrative features of a hospital, not its core public health services.
The minister says the Government is already proceeding with PPPs for prisons and schools, and hospital buildings should be considered as well.