Another GDC contract in Mount company's sights

Recommendation is for second major building contract to go to Mount Maunganui company Watts and Hughes.

Recommendation is for second major building contract to go to Mount Maunganui company Watts and Hughes.

A SECOND major building contract will go to Mount Maunganui company Watts and Hughes if a recommendation at a busy Gisborne District Council meeting tomorrow is adopted.

Staff recommend the construction contract for the HB Williams Memorial Library upgrade be awarded to Watts and Hughes for a price of $5.2 million.

The company is also the preferred contractor for the new council administration building in Fitzherbert Street.

Development group manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann has told the council planning and the total cost of the library project will be $6.28 million, an increase of $1.29 million.

The components that have lifted the price include asset renewals, compliance requirements and deferred maintenance.

The balance will be funded from the library depreciation reserve and a library activity surplus.

The library will move to the Gilmours building in Awapuni Road while the upgrade is carried out.

Another building project to be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting is the earthquake-strengthening of the Lawson Field Theatre for which the initial $1.1 million budget has increased by $2 million.

The council will consider investigating extending the scope of the War Memorial Theatre Trust to include the Lawson Field Theatre to complete the chosen option, which is to complete the project including a retractable stage.

What to do about the two buildings is part of a packed agenda for the council’s final meeting of the year, which stretches to 380 pages.

One tricky item will be the issue of amalgamating the council’s economic development activities at present done by Activate Tairawhiti, Heart of Gisborne and Tourism Eastland. Although it has been working since July 2015, it has been unable to get the three parties to agree.

In an unusual move, the council is being asked to confirm its appointment of committee chairs made at its October meeting, which was done by an anonymous voting system.

Six speakers are listed to speak during the public submissions section of the meeting including Eastland Group and Activate Tairawhiti.

District councillor Josh Wharehinga will speak on behalf of Feed Tairawhiti. He also has a report on the agenda asking the council to make submissions to the Government to urgently house people in the empty state houses in the district.

Mr Wharehinga also has a recommendation that the council reaffirm its opposition to deep sea oil drilling in the Pegasus and East Coast basins.

Also on the agenda

  • The annual meeting of the council’s fully-owned subsidiary Gisborne Holdings Ltd.
  • Reducing the time for the $15 million upgrade of the Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme from 15 to 10 years.
  • Continue investigating the feasibility of a wetlands option to treat the city’s wastewater.
  • Confirm the decision of the community development and services committee decision to keep the Kaiti Hill observatory closed pending further consultation in the 2017/18 annual plan.
  • Investigate providing a jumping platform for people to do “bombs” into the Turanganui River, starting with a pontoon between the rail and road bridges, with consultation to follow on a $250,000 jumping platform overhanging the river from Heipipi Park.
  • <<<

A SECOND major building contract will go to Mount Maunganui company Watts and Hughes if a recommendation at a busy Gisborne District Council meeting tomorrow is adopted.

Staff recommend the construction contract for the HB Williams Memorial Library upgrade be awarded to Watts and Hughes for a price of $5.2 million.

The company is also the preferred contractor for the new council administration building in Fitzherbert Street.

Development group manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann has told the council planning and the total cost of the library project will be $6.28 million, an increase of $1.29 million.

The components that have lifted the price include asset renewals, compliance requirements and deferred maintenance.

The balance will be funded from the library depreciation reserve and a library activity surplus.

The library will move to the Gilmours building in Awapuni Road while the upgrade is carried out.

Another building project to be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting is the earthquake-strengthening of the Lawson Field Theatre for which the initial $1.1 million budget has increased by $2 million.

The council will consider investigating extending the scope of the War Memorial Theatre Trust to include the Lawson Field Theatre to complete the chosen option, which is to complete the project including a retractable stage.

What to do about the two buildings is part of a packed agenda for the council’s final meeting of the year, which stretches to 380 pages.

One tricky item will be the issue of amalgamating the council’s economic development activities at present done by Activate Tairawhiti, Heart of Gisborne and Tourism Eastland. Although it has been working since July 2015, it has been unable to get the three parties to agree.

In an unusual move, the council is being asked to confirm its appointment of committee chairs made at its October meeting, which was done by an anonymous voting system.

Six speakers are listed to speak during the public submissions section of the meeting including Eastland Group and Activate Tairawhiti.

District councillor Josh Wharehinga will speak on behalf of Feed Tairawhiti. He also has a report on the agenda asking the council to make submissions to the Government to urgently house people in the empty state houses in the district.

Mr Wharehinga also has a recommendation that the council reaffirm its opposition to deep sea oil drilling in the Pegasus and East Coast basins.

Also on the agenda

  • The annual meeting of the council’s fully-owned subsidiary Gisborne Holdings Ltd.
  • Reducing the time for the $15 million upgrade of the Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme from 15 to 10 years.
  • Continue investigating the feasibility of a wetlands option to treat the city’s wastewater.
  • Confirm the decision of the community development and services committee decision to keep the Kaiti Hill observatory closed pending further consultation in the 2017/18 annual plan.
  • Investigate providing a jumping platform for people to do “bombs” into the Turanganui River, starting with a pontoon between the rail and road bridges, with consultation to follow on a $250,000 jumping platform overhanging the river from Heipipi Park.
  • <<<

Not competitive enough

EVEN with a 20 percent local weighting, local tenderers were not as competitive as the outside company that is recommended to get the contract for the $5.2 million upgrade of the HB Williams Library, says Gisborne District Council chief executive Judy Campbell.

Ms Campbell was clarifying issues regarding the awarding of contracts for the library upgrade and the replacement of the council’s administration building — both of which seem likely to go to the Mount Maunganui company.

The administration building is a project for Gisborne Holdings Limited, not the council she said.

Watts and Hughes were recommended for the H.B. Williams Memorial Library build. GDC is to make a final decision at tomorrow’s full council meeting.

“This project is being run by GDC and we have followed our percentage weighting in favouring local companies for this process,” she said.

“Local tenders were further tested against a possible council policy change, which allows for local contractors to get a higher weighting in non-price attributes. Even at a 20 percent weighting, the local contractor wasn’t as competitive.

“Watts and Hughes have, however, pledged to use local subcontractors wherever possible.

“Our expectation is that Watts and Hughes will be using local contractors and materials for about 85 percent of the build, which amounts to approximately $5.2 million.

The rebuild of the Fitzherbert Street property was very much the domain of Gisborne Holdings Ltd, which was an independent commercial identity and operated as such. It does not operate under the same rules as GDC.

“So while the council has a percentage weighting for the use of local companies when awarding tenders, we don’t set the criteria that GHL uses,” Ms Campbell said.

Watts and Hughes have been appointed to do the preload work — laying the foundations and preparing the site — for the Fitzherbert Street administration building, but the finer details of the contract are still being worked through.

The construction company from Mount Maunganui has been identified as the preferred contractor for the multi-million dollar work.

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Mary-Ann De Kort - 2 months ago
If Watts and Hughes are merely facilitators of the project, and will be employing sub-contractors to do the real work, surely it would be more cost-effective to employ a skilled project manager, or a team of them, directly to co-ordinate the contracts for the rebuild.

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