AsiaPacific Infrastructure - Jun&Jul 2015

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Volume 5 No 3

Western Ring Route Alice & friends through the looking glass

Greg Kemphthorne

Auckland’s missing link

In this issue

Sydney megaproject • Road lighting research • Waikato water report

Gain a qualification in environmental studies, in your own environment Open Polytechnic is a leader in distance learning, which means you and your staff can gain an environment qualification during your lunch break in the office, or in your own time from a log cabin beside a waterfall. You can choose from a certificate, diploma or degree, studying when it suits you to fit around your commitments like work, family and building the aforementioned log cabin.

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Andrew Wood - Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6) AndrewWood Woodworks works full full time time Andrew as asmanager manager of of aapolicy policy and planning planningteam teamfor fora acouncil. council.“I “I enjoy the mental challenge of enjoy the mental challenge of studying but I could not do it studying I could not without thebut flexibility youdo getit without the flexibility you get from distance learning from distance learning”

“Staff in my team have also been able to use the materials as a reference source.” Andrew has had to prioritise his time to fit his studies around his work, but says his employer and family have been supportive. “I try and discipline myself to doing a couple of hours each weekday and then at the weekend. My family have been supportive although occasionally they say ‘you are always studying!’ My daughters are both currently doing tertiary study also so I hope my efforts may provide some encouragement.” Not only has his study benefited him professionally, Andrew says he has gained new perspectives and interests. “You are never “too old” to study and by doing so from time to time you both broaden your outlook and open new doors.”


ndrew Wood wanted to challenge himself and get back into tertiary study so he enrolled with the Open Polytechnic. He chose the Diploma in Environmental Management as he wanted to study something which was both relevant to his work at a council, and would also allow him to further explore his interest in the environment. Throughout his working life Andrew has undertaken a number of tertiary level qualifications including post-graduate study with an overseas university by distance learning, so he knew that distance learning worked well when it came to fitting his study around work. “I enjoy the mental challenge of studying but I

could not do it without the flexibility you get from distance learning.” Andrew works full time as manager of a policy and planning team for a council. He says his studies have been relevant and useful in his work, not only for himself but for his team also. “With the study I have been able to fill some gaps in my knowledge. There is material I can directly apply to my role but also broaden my understanding of work in other areas of the council, for example the Resource Management Act module gave me a more in-depth view of the work of the Consents Team. The Coastal and Marine Management module and my next one, Ecology, relate to work of the Environmental Services within council.

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The local government sector is strengthening its financial planning and asset management and a new study investigates the economic benefits of regional transport links to ensure regional development and growth P12 Hamilton city, Waipa and Waikato councils could save nearly half a billion dollars over 30 years if they transfer their water assets into a CCO P28-29 The requirement to prepare Long Term Plans by Local Councils means the 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies are now available for the first time P30 Getting the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan to this stage shows much credit to the Auckland Council P31 Wellington and Northland may have missed out on amalgamation, but Hawkes Bay had better luck P32-33


Having the flexibility to work full-time, fit in family or social commitments, and still be able to study towards a nationally recognised qualification sounds like a great option. Council staffer Andrew Wood wanted to challenge himself and get back into tertiary study so he enrolled with the Open Polytechnic for a Diploma in Environmental Management P2-3 PO Box 72 095, Papakura 2244 Auckland Iplex is a leading New Zealand manufacturer of plastic pipelines Tel: 0800 500 330, 021 532 599 and systems Email: for the infrastructure sector. Iplex offers technical Websites support from the planning stage through to project completion – pipe, ducts and fittings applications for storm water, sewer, roading and trenchless through to telecommunications, electrical and gas P9 Sub Surface Detection leads the way in facilitating underground asset management protection and H&S requirements P13

SECTIONS Cities One of the most ambitious urban renewal projects in the world currently underway in Sydney exemplifies the integrated approach local mega projects should emulate – Stephen Selwood P6-8 Free access online to an interactive digital edition. Free access to searchable archives in key infrastructure categories such as Local Government, Construction, Cities, Energy, Environment, Transport, Water, Communication. Free access to daily news with the AsiaPacific Infrastructure online carousel

Printed by Crucial Colour 24 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose, Auckland +64 9 589 1550 Published by Media Solutions Ltd 3c, 12 Tamariki Ave, Orewa 0931, PO Box 31397, Milford 0741 09 444 5140, 09 489 8663 Original material may be reproduced with permission and acknowledgement. ISSN 2324-3163 (Print) ISSN 2324-3171 (Online)

June/July 2015

The recent Unitary Plan hearings about the future of the Port of Auckland threw up a variety of opinions and suggestions – Dr Joel Cayford P10-11 Construction No-one who undertakes architectural, design or surveying work can afford to ignore the effects of Construction Contracts Act Amendment Bill - and neither can their insurers. Construction company Arrow International and lawyers Chapman Tripp examine the implication of the bill. P14-16 Housing It is critical to integrate the development of houses, commercial buildings and ancillary infrastructure for successful and futureproof outcomes – Connal Townsend P17 Transport Auckland’s Western Ring Route is the biggest project ever undertaken by the New Zealand Transport Agency and is being completed under five separate contracts being undertaken by five different teams P18-27 Water Independent consultants recommend Hamilton city, Waipa and Waikato councils transfer their water assets into a single ratepayer-owned and council-controlled organisation which could save nearly half a billion dollars over 30 years P28-29 Super Cities Wellington and Northland won’t follow in Auckland’s footsteps with super councils but five Hawke’s Bay councils could be amalgamated if residents agree P32-33


Port development: Reclaim, declaim or restore - The recent Unitary Plan hearings about the future of the Port of Auckland threw up a variety of interesting opinions and suggestions from concerned groups from all around the Waitemata Harbour - Dr Joel Cayford P6-7 Urban Renewal: One of the most ambitious urban renewal projects in the world in Sydney exemplifies the integrated approach local mega projects should follow – Stephen Selwood P6-8 Legislation: The implications of the impending Construction Contracts Act Amendment Bill – John McKay and Edward Scorgie P14-16 Property: Local government, the private sector, and central government know that to create places where people want to live and work they have to provide adequate homes and functioning infrastructure - Connal Townsend P17 Planning: The adoption of the 2015-2045 Long Term Plans by Local Councils means the new 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies for water supply, sewerage and the treatment of sewage, storm water, flood protection and roads are now available - Lawrence Yule P30 Auckland Unitary Plan: Getting the proposed plan to this stage shows much credit to the Auckland Council and to central government for establishing the legislation which required the Auckland community to get to the hearing stage so quickly – Leigh Auton P31 Barangaroo will completely transform the Sydney waterfront when it is completed in 2022 – P6

June/July 2015 – 5

COMMENT >> Planning

An artist’s impression of the central Barangaroo development in downtown Sydney

One of the most ambitious urban renewal projects in the world currently underway in Sydney exemplifies the integrated approach local mega-projects should emulate


arangaroo is a shining example of the integrated best-practice approach that should inspire local megaproject planners. The 22 hectare, $6 billion mega-project will transform a disused container terminal into a new global financial services hub and, using rental income from the new development, rehabilitate the old headland into an expansive six-hectare harbour foreshore park, providing a new vantage point for Sydneysiders and visitors alike to soak up the beauty of Sydney Harbour. As such, it represents precisely the type of integrated approach vital if New Zealand is to maximise the potential and benefits of S1 billion-plus mega-projects such as the Auckland City Rail Link, the Roads of National Significance (RoNS), the Christchurch CBD rebuild and Ultra-Fast Broadband. However, we are approaching expensive, transformational and inherently risky initiatives in much the same way we ap-

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proach standard delivery – this is out of step with international best practice. Mega-projects transform the activities of residents, communities and businesses, impacting social, economic and cultural well-being on a grand scale, and require the commitment and input of all of society, bringing together all levels of government and the private sector. They demand a different approach to planning, funding, procurement and delivery, one that New Zealand must seek to understand as we move forward. Six steps Firstly, and most importantly, we must lift our vision and focus on outcomes, not inputs. Successful mega-projects must be driven, sustained and at all times committed to achieving broad societal outcomes. We must not allow project conceptualisation to be hobbled by planning and funding constraints or traditional project

appraisal methods which fail to adequately quantify wider economic, social and environmental benefits. Employment, housing, economic growth and sustainable development are the purpose of mega investment. An outcomes approach keeps authorities focused on the end result and requires pragmatic solutions to overcoming planning, funding and resource constraints. Second, mega-projects must be integrated – development and the infrastructure which supports it must be planned, funded and delivered as a package. Development should be used to fund infrastructure and infrastructure used to catalyse development – this will make investment more attractive to private capital, reduce the longterm funding commitments of public authorities and facilitate closer alignment of services with demand. Third, mega-projects must be developed collaboratively. Because mega-projects affect

everyone, central and local government need to combine with the private sector to deliver solutions which satisfy public objectives and meet customer needs. Success is dependent upon all parties supporting projects with associated investment, incentives and regulatory flexibility. Fourth, mega-projects should be managed independently – public agencies reporting directly to public officials should be the exception, not the rule, when it comes to managing major projects. Standard practice internationally is to establish either an independent delivery arm of government, a special purpose project delivery agency or contract directly to the private sector to deliver major projects. In each case, operational decisions are made by a CEO responsible to an independent expert board. Fifth, the default setting for financing and funding mega-projects should be private capital. Transfers from the taxpayer should be limited to attracting June/July 2015

private investment, acting as a funder of last resort and, if required, guaranteeing debt to lower repayment costs. Private capital reduces dependency upon public resources, enables public capital to be redeployed or recycled into other priorities, lowers the risk to taxpayers and serves as a magnet for further private investment in associated activities. Finally, the size of any project should be a reflection of the preceding attributes, and sufficient to deliver the desired outcome. Small projects may be bundled to achieve scale efficiencies or attract private investment, while large projects may be procured separately to reduce risk or sequence for demand. But all mega-projects must be planned and delivered at the scale necessary to realise the opportunity to achieve regional and national benefits. Pristine precinct Barangaroo fulfills all these requirements, having developed rapidly since then-Premier Bob Carr announced in 2003 that Port Botany would continue to grow as Sydney’s shipping link to the world and the stevedoring wharves at East Darling Harbour would be transformed into an exciting new urban precinct. The bold vision foresaw a three-part development: Barangaroo South – a major new business, tourism, residential and retail precinct opening onto a public waterfront promenade, with the first building targeted for completion this year Barangaroo Central – a cultural and civic focal point for rec-

reation, relaxation, events, festivals, entertainment and leisure activities Barangaroo Point – a six-hectare harbour park inspired by the 1836 shoreline and designed to complement the neighbouring headlands of Sydney harbour, it’s scheduled to open this year. The NSW government launched an International Urban Design Competition in May 2005 to source ideas and concepts that would underpin this 20-year transformation of Barangaroo, ensure the best design opportunities and encourage wide public debate.

ed and financially responsible manner” and to deliver “worldclass benchmarks” in urban design, public domain and sustainability. The authority in turn harnessed the power of private capital, appointing multinational property and infrastructure company Lend Lease in December 2009 as master developers with a brief to develop Barangaroo South and reinforce Sydney’s position as a key financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region. Barangaroo South will be a major new extension of the Sydney CBD, with 300,00 square

“We are approaching expensive, transformational and inherently risky initiatives in much the same way we approach standard delivery - this is out of step with international best practice” The competition brief stipulated that any renewal of the site must: • provide a minimum of 50 percent new foreshore parkland • enhance the growth and positioning of Sydney as the “premier business, cultural and living centre of the Asia-Pacific region” • activate the site with a combination of working and recreational uses • incorporate the NSW government’s Public Foreshore 14km Walkway from Woolloomooloo to Anzac Bridge. An independent Barangaroo Delivery Authority was created in 2009 to implement the plan, reinforcing the NSW government’s commitment to develop Barangaroo in a “coordinat-

metres of large floor plate, premium grade, energy-efficient office space that will provide a fitting home for international banks, financial and professional services companies. A true mixed-use precinct consisting of commercial office buildings, residential apartments, an international hotel, shops, cafes, restaurants, and cultural facilities, Barangaroo South will feature direct public transport connections, including a major pedestrian connection through to Wynyard Station and the city. The final element to be completed, Barangaroo South offers the potential for up to 120,000m2 of mixed-use recreational, residential, retail and commercial development

across three development blocks along the eastern half of the site. This commercial hub is effectively being leveraged to fund the headland and park space that makes up the remainder of the Barangaroo project, including the 5.2 hectare Central Barangaroo development that will be the cultural heart of the precinct. Central Barangaroo will combine civic and cultural attractions with recreational, residential, retail and commercial uses to deliver an exciting and unique range of public and cultural activities stimulating all those who experience it. Barangaroo Point completes the development, a 5.7 hectare park featuring 10,000 individually crafted sandstone blocks, 75,000 native plants and a 10-metre wide foreshore walk in an imaginative design that juxtaposes a rugged sandstone topography inspired by the naturalistic pre-1836 shoreline of the historic Port Jackson area, against a flourishing and modern CBD. When it’s finally completed in 2022, more than 24,000 people are expected to live and work at Barangaroo and another 33,000 people will visit every day, with more than 90 percent of visitors accessing the site by public transport, cycling or walking. The Barangaroo Integrated Transport Plan being developed to manage the increase in visitors will see a new Wynyard Walk pedestrian connection from Wynyard Station, bus

Continued on page 8

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COMMENT >> Planning

Continued from page 7 interchange, ferries, light rail, Wynyard Station upgrades and a Transport Square Interchange on the western foreshore of the CBD. Globally significant redevelopment projects like Barangaroo are exemplars of global best practice, with visionary thinking and integrated planning and delivery at scale that transforms economic and social systems around investment and provides a magnet for global skills and capital. There is no reason why New Zealand cannot develop and implement an integrated infrastructure plan such as Baranga-

roo – indeed it’s essential if we are to maximise the enormous potential inherent in our current and future mega-projects. Stephen Selwood is CEO of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development

Barangaroo will completely transform the Sydney waterfront when it is completed in 2022

Learn from the leaders


ustralia and the UK can teach New Zealand valuable lessons when it comes to the procurement, funding and delivery of major projects, a recent report maintains New Zealand has to modernise its project approach to ensure successful delivery of its mega-project pipeline and maximise value for money, the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) insists. The NZCID’s International Best Practice in Mega Project Delivery: Lessons from Australia and the UK report that spotlights such major projects such as Barangaroo in Sydney and the UK’s £50 billion High Speed 2 interregional connection says New Zealand must: • become more adept at turning infrastructural problems into an opportunities for sustained societal improvement - a single-minded commitment to achieving generic outcomes which improves the well-being of all society is essential to overcoming project challenges • integrate relevant activities so that related services are co-

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ordinated and mutually supportive • collaborate across all affected authorities and private parties to leverage the experience and expertise of all society and engender buy-in • establish independent project management structures to manage relationships and provide separation from political decision-making • use whatever resources are available according to best value for the economy and country to ensure beneficial projects are not held back by funding, financing or other resource issues • plan, fund and deliver at scale whenever network, corridor and community renewal opportunities are present. International Best Practice in Mega Project Delivery: Lessons from Australia and the UK highlights four major barriers to local implementation of international best-practice project delivery: • planning - New Zealand’s planning framework is incompatible with an outcomes approach to public policy • national planning leadership - a near total absence of gov-

ernment planning direction. It is not clear what the government’s planning priorities are or what the expectation is of local government to promote national direction • transport funding – investment prioritisation has traditionally valued benefits to transport users to independently ascertain where investment is best directed, elevating transport inputs including time travel savings and safety benefits above public outcomes such as national productivity and economic growth • value capture - New Zealand doesn’t have an established approach to capturing the value associated with new investment or development rights. The NZCID makes several key recommendations to improve mega-project planning and ensure international best practice project delivery: • the existing effects-based approach to urban development planning be replaced with an outcomes-based approach emphasising the opportunity to promote sustainable development • integrated development at scale be promoted as a means

to achieve transformation of regions and communities and attract global private capital and expertise • the government lead national urban development policy and investment with a revised planning framework guided by national and regional spatial planning • all national and regional urban development initiatives be assessed on their capacity to deliver positive economic, social and sustainability outcomes and be prioritised according to opportunities to leverage property value uplift to offset public spending • master planning of major urban developments becomes a statutory requirement and a commitment made to local and central government and private sector collaboration on site planning, funding and delivery • attracting private investment to become a key objective of development initiatives • and independently governed specialist procurement agencies be established and existing agencies developed to ensure best practice in project delivery and implementation. June/July 2015

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June/July 2015 – 9

COMMENT >> Ports

Reclaim, declaim or restore Dr Joel Cayford Consultant The recent Unitary Plan hearings about the future of the Port of Auckland threw up a variety of interesting opinions and suggestions from concerned groups from all around the Waitemata Harbour

POAL’s 2008 Plan clearly shows cranes on the northern sides of the reclamations - in the case of Bledisloe about 200 metres further north into Waitemata Harbour


orts of Auckland (POAL) was deluged with a barrage of ideas and initiatives from everyone from the Parnell Community Group, Devonport Heritage, Heart of the City and Ngati Whatua to Urban Auckland, and the Auckland CBD Residents Association. The Heart of the City and Devonport Heritage submissions raised issues about the continuing industrialisation of the port, and the clash that is growing between the users of the harbour, and those who have lived on the harbour - peacefully - for more than a hundred years. However port plans go further, as the diagram drawn from POAL’s 2008 Plan entitled: “Ultimate Port layout” clearly shows. This envisages that the basin that currently provides some natural variation in the current layout would be entirely reclaimed. The recent hearing heard evidence indicating that POAL is still intent on reclaiming a large part of this central basin area. Submitters expressed concern that POAL’s main interest appeared to be creating more land. The Parnell submissions expressed concern that views out over the harbour would change without the variety and diversity that is afforded by the current POAL layout. A number of submitters questioned the need for more land, given that stacked parking is used in many ports and that it is inefficient to be storing so many containers at any one time on land. Other submitters

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Also drawn from POAL’s 2008 Plan and entitled “Ultimate Port layout”, this diagram envisages entire reclamation of the basin that currently provides some natural variation in the current layout

raised concerns about the increasing “industrialisation” of the port - mentioning the number of cement facilities that are now being established on the land and that are apparently consented without notification. The variety and diversity of POAL plans was also noted by submitters, with many questioning the credibility of the plans. Heart of the City suggested that if POAL was genuinely worried about being able to berth longer ships all it needed to do was to complete the removal of Marsden Wharf

“Submitters are seeking certainty and want hard and clear lines in the sand – POAL is doing whatever it can to provide itself with future wriggle room” - giving it the whole length of the existing Bledisloe Wharf. Heart of the City’s Greg McKeown has done a lot of work exploring options for providing berth space, and these include the option of declaiming part of the existing Jellicoe reclamation, so that the Eastern edge of the Bledisloe terminal could also be lengthened. While these options may have been explored by POAL, they do not appear to have been top of its list. Sitting there listening I felt it was a weighty load to place on the shoulders of

the Unitary Plan Commissioners. Their job appears confined to fine-tuning environmental effects-based planning controls that are consistent with the purpose of the Resource Management Act. Submitters are seeking certainty and want hard and clear lines in the sand – POAL is doing whatever it can to provide itself with future wriggle room. Everyone in the hearings room seemed to be keenly aware of that. I think that given the scale of the debate that is occurring nationally and regionally about ports and about supply chain logistics, and where communities are no longer prepared to accept incremental creep into public amenity, then it would be rational for this PAUP process to kick for touch pending a necessary political decision - or be the meat in the sandwich. I do think that Auckland Council has intervened in the process usefully. It has reset the activity status of Bledisloe wharf extensions like B2 and B3 (whose lawfulness are the subject of a High Court judicial review judgment expected before the end of June) from “permitted” to “discretionary” outside the basin and “restricted discretionary” inside the basin, and it has decided there needs to be a protected view corridor from the end of Queens Wharf. While these are positions for mediation, and are not in the proposed plan, they do represent a significant and important shift on the part of Auckland Council. June/July 2015

POAL must be encouraged to take its responsibilities under the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement more seriously, perhaps softening the basin edges as per this Photoshopped image

Finally, one of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement’s (NZCPS) key policy objectives is the restoration of coastlines. This includes the new coastal edges that POAL has created as it has reclaimed (taken) seabed and redrawn the Waitemata Harbour coastline. Interestingly, when the Judges Bay residents challenged POAL over its plans to extend the Ferguson reclamation it won a very important concession from POAL in the Environment Court. The eastern

June/July 2015

edge of the Ferguson reclamation would be established as a coastal walkway that would be planted, with viewing areas out to the end of that reclamation. As far as I am aware the walkway is in place - but how attractive it is and how popular it is I am unaware. Either way, the picture suggests that no planting has taken place. Now that POAL is being forced to face the fact that it can take no more land from the harbour, it must be encouraged to take its responsibilities under the NZCPS more

seriously. It needs to restore particular edges of its reclamation. It cannot presume to build a bald patch of tarmac totally edged with cranes and berthed shipping. It needs to do what it can to integrate with what is there now, including its basin, and it needs to soften its edges. Dr Joel Cayford is a planning consultant, blogger and planning researcher/teacher at the University of Auckland, and a former city and regional councillor – 11


Strengthening financial planning and transparency


he local government sector is strengthening its financial planning and asset management, while improving transparency around infrastructure. Release of the first 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies that’s required under the amended Local Government Act has forced councils across all of New Zealand to take a hard look at the state of infrastructure as they now need a planned strategy for a 30-year period incorporated into Long Term Plans.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says the strategies reinforce the importance of asset management planning. “Quality, well-maintained infrastructure assets are important to communities,” he insists. “This is why LGNZ launched its 3 Waters project, presenting a clear national picture of New Zealand’s water infrastructure for the first time; and the LGNZ Local Government Funding Review that considers the best ways to

Mobilising the regions for economic growth


new study to investigate the economic benefits of regional transport links to ensure regional development and growth across all of New Zealand has been launched by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ). LGNZ is working to address

critical questions, including which regional transport links are most vulnerable and how a better alignment between central and local government might yield improved results for regional development. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says the timing is right to pursue

fund intergenerational infrastructure assets.” The 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies provide insight into areas for improvement by councils across New Zealand, which own community assets worth more than $120 billion in total. The 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies provide information on council asset management including data on the state of the infrastructure network, what the risks are if key infrastructure assets fail, capital expenditure on core infrastructure renewal and risk management arrangements. These 30 Year Infrastructure

Strategies are a good step forward for councils and members of communities, Local Government Funding Agency Credit and Client Relations Manager Andrew Michl believes. “Good asset management practices are vital to sound financial management,” he says. “These strategies bring a deeper awareness of the current state of assets that councils are holding at the moment, bringing increased transparency to ratepayers.”

a “thought leadership” paper to support LGNZ’s advocacy for growth across all of New Zealand’s regions, particularly following recent changes to regional air services. “The report will provide the foundation for a better understanding of the regional transport network and its impact on regional economic development,” Mr Yule says. Greater analysis will be made of the policy and investment

decision-making structures that facilitate and block growth for continued regional economic development, he adds. “An all-of-New Zealand approach is needed to strengthen economic potential nationwide.” LGNZ is advocating for transport decision-making that underpins regional economic growth objectives with the study, which it intends to complete and release mid-year.

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oth Sub Surface and Leak Detection are in a growth phase and focused on setting new standards to maintain market leadership. Sub Surface Detection Ltd is already contracting to an impressive client list within the Auckland Region, supplying valued clients with the service they require to complete their projects safely and with minimal disruptions to their schedules. Our aim is to continue growing this client list. Leak Detection Ltd also has been experiencing record water leak-detection survey call outs, which indicates both companies are providing the quality of service that existing and new clients expect. “We have an ongoing investment programme in new and cutting-edge technologies; we recently acquired a new Internal Cut & Cap system that provides another advanced tool at our disposal for leak detection,” says chief executive Justin Bell. “To meet demand and main-

“Still the fact remains that accident prevention or mitigation should take place long before excavation begins. “There have been a number of major advances in the past 10 years to reduce excavation injury and accidental damage to underground utilities. “A few hours diagnostic and preventative work ahead of a tain our high standards, we are dig can save thousands later selectively employing more key and provide increased safety for copper communications cables. workers.” personnel. Combined with the under“We believe that our compaground images produced by a nies’ teams are our most valua- Accurate location the GPR survey, both metallic and ble asset and have instituted a starting point non metallic (plastic, concrete, Many underground sites are a asbestos, cement) objects lying programme of investing in our staff’s personal growth. We have criss-cross of power cables, gas in the path of a potential excavafocused on creating the team lines, water and drainage pipes tion can be seen and identified,” environment and excellence and fibre optic communications says Mr Bell. needed to provide this level of cables, with danger lurking millimetres away from a probing me- The companies’ client base services,” he says. chanical digging shovel. includes Leighton Contractors, Pre-dig investigation enhances The key to preventing pipeline Downers, Transfield Services, worker safety and cable hits begins by accu- Higgins, Watercare, Fletcher If there is significant damage rately locating and marking ex- Construction, Hawkins, or injury to workers from exca- isting underground facilities. Fulton Hogan, John Holland, “Sub-Surface uses electro Fonterra, Arrow International, vation accidents, expensive legal action is inevitable and the magnetic induction (EMI) and Contact Energy, Lend Lease, question becomes who is at ground penetrating radar (GPR) Hick Bros, McKenzie & Parma, to locate metallic utilities such as Fuel Installation Companies, fault. WorkSafe investigations may steel pipes, power cables, and Vector and many more. add to contractors’ woes and result in large fines if it is proved Sub Surface Detection has formed alliances to offer that safety procedures were not a broad range of services to be provided followed. • GPR - Ground Penetrating • Hydro excavation “It is easy to have sympathy Radar • L aser Scanning both above with contractors when margins • EMI - Electro Magnetic Inducground, and of drainage are so tight and there is no protion (pipe and cable locating) systems below ground vision for pre-dig testing,” says • CCTV drain camera • GPS survey positioning/ Mr Bell. inspections drawings.

PO Box 72 095, Papakura 2244 Auckland Tel: 0800 500 330, 021 532 599 Email: Websites

June/July 2015 – 13

COMMENT >> Construction

Construction Is the tail wagging the dog? No-one who undertakes architectural, design or surveying work can afford to ignore the Construction Contracts Act (CCA) Amendment Bill - and neither can their insurers

Introducing a fresher, prouder, STRONGER direction for Arrow As we celebrate 30 years in business, we’re excited to announce a refresh of the Arrow brand. We’ll be using one loud messsage nationally – Build for Success – which we think captures what we’ve been doing for 30 years – working in collaboration with our clients to build outstanding projects.


ontractors and subcontractors, if they care about retentions (as most do), must also be familiar with how the Bill messes with that topic. The law relating to retentions is set to change dramatically. Views will differ on whether the change pictured is pretty. We sketch that picture below, but there is a strong sense of unease that the issues have not been properly understood or evaluated. So why is the Bill doing what it is doing? How did we get here? A large part of the answer seems to be that consumer-focussed thinking, which might be appropriate for residential or smaller construction contracts (the “tail”), has driven reforms which will apply uniformly across the entire construction industry (“the dog”) - no matter how large the project or how sophisticated the industry participants who are making it happen. A brief summary of a short Bill

Build for SUCCESS�

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The Bill was introduced in January 2013 after several years’ gestation. The Commerce Select Committee considered it later that year, but further progress was delayed by the elections and three Supplementary Order Papers (Labour, Greens and finally National) which targeted the vexed question of whether retentions should be held on trust. The key changes proposed by the Bill: • bring consultants into the fold, by amending the definition of “construction work” to include design or engineering work and quantity surveying work, so that disputes regarding such work can be dealt with under the CCA’s fast-track, “rough and ready” adjudication process • remove the distinction between residential and commercial construction work for most purposes • amend section 73 to allow all adjudicator’s determinations to be enforced by entry as a judgment, so “rights and obligations” determinations will be enforceJune/July 2015

Contracts Act: controversial changes able and not just determinations regarding payment; and • amend adjudication timeframes – but not significantly. Consumer driven? The strong consumer focus was expressly acknowledged by the Commerce Committee, which stated it “would benefit consumers” if consultants were covered by the legislation. The November 2013 Report on the Bill by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was even clearer, stating that “The policy intent of adding design, engineering and quantity surveying work is primarily to benefit consumers by enabling them to use the [adjudication] processes under the Act to hold building contractors and professionals to account for their work”. The government’s sector-wide push to improve quality, productivity, efficiency and accountability is admirable, but important questions remain, including: • how strong was the demand to include consultants in the adjudication process if you put to one side demand from consumers involved in the residential or small-scale construction sector? • does the “one size fits all” approach to dispute resolution actually fit the reality of consultants’ terms of engagement and insurance arrangements and the nature of the services they provide? • will including consultants and allowing “rights and obligations” determinations to be enforceable, immediately, be “best for project” and deliver the desired quality, efficiency and other gains? Bringing consultants into the fold The first question takes us back to the fun-

damental objective of the CCA, which was to facilitate regular and timely cash flow within the contractor chain. The focus was not on cash flow between clients and consultants and there were no consultancy firm collapses to trigger reform. Has there really been a groundswell of support for a broader focus? And if so, has it come from the “big construction” sector or from the residential sector, “small construction” or from small consultancies seeking to use the CCA’s payment mechanisms? The question surfaces because, like it or not, disputes between clients and consultants are inherently different in key respects to disputes between clients and contractors, or between contractors and sub-contractors. Arguably those differences mean that the kinds of natural justice compromises which are justified under the fast-track adjudication process in the name of unblocking cash flow are no longer meritorious. “Rough and ready” justice might just become too rough and not very ready. The key differences referred to include: • claims against consultants will inevitably be similar to claims in tort, as terms of engagement routinely require the exercise of reasonable skill and care, not a guaranteed outcome • as a result, determining liability triggers an assessment of matters of professional judgement • that assessment requires a high degree of reliance on the views of specialist independent experts • there is a greater risk of technical complexity (arising from specialist fields); and • an inherent risk that there might be a significant time gap between the period when the relevant work was done (in the

case of design and engineering work) and when the defect or other issue giving rise to the claim surfaces – normally after the physical work has been completed and possibly years after practical completion. Further, it is highly likely that the consultant will have professional indemnity insurance, so the interests of a third party (the insurer) may be vitally affected and the ability of the consultant to manage the claim within fast timeframes may be virtually non-existent. The last point isn’t fanciful. In addition to the time it may take an insurer to decide whether the policy even responds, conditions of insurance inevitably contain requirements governing such things as the selection of legal counsel, the appointment of experts, general conduct of the case and the taking of steps which might prejudice the defence. To illustrate that the concerns are real, a Client Briefing published on Marsh’s website in March 2015 notes that although the insurance industry has yet to take a position on the issue there is a “distinct possibility” that an adjudicator’s determination may not be covered by a PI policy due to non-compliance with policy conditions and inadequate timeframes. Such an outcome is poor for both parties to the dispute. On what basis can we be satisfied that even “rough and ready” justice can be done within what may be little more than a month, say, in complex cases? The Bill does introduce some additional discretion for adjudicators to extend timeframes, due for example to the size and complexity of

Continued on page 16

Build for Success June/July 2015 –15

COMMENT >> Construction Continued from page 15 the claim, but extensions in the context of the standard timeframe of only five working days to respond to an adjudication claim are still likely to be woefully inadequate. What happens, for example, in a claim by the client which alleges that there was a design defect in a complex structural connection in a power station, or a design flaw in a wastewater treatment plant process, which potentially triggers multiple layers of PI insurance, calls into question design decisions recorded in archived documents made several years ago, by professionals who have since left the respondent firm (and live in Dubai), and which requires independent expertise which is in short supply from very busy people? Sure, there is likely to be some forewarning of such a claim, but aggressive pre-commencement dialogue seldom justifies applying the kind of resources which are needed to respond to an actual claim - until now. Rights and obligations issues The Bill switches determinations on “rights and obligations” issues from the status of being given “weight” in any subsequent court or arbitration proceedings to being binding and immediately enforceable by entry as a judgment. This change is also dramatic. Making payment obligations enforceable after a “quick and dirty” adjudication process is one thing, as money can normally be repaid if the determination is overturned in subsequent court or arbitration proceedings. But many “rights and obligations” are either complex or incapable of being unwound downstream, either at all or satisfactorily. The court can only refuse to enter judgment on very narrow grounds, namely that any amount payable under the determination has been paid, that there was in fact no construction contract at all, or that a condition imposed by the adjudicator has not yet been met. The scary bit is that there is no discretion to refuse judgment like that used in interim injunction proceedings, in which the court weighs up whether the “balance of convenience” favours making interim orders which, after a full hearing, may later turn out to have been undeserving. Taking three examples, consider the impact of “rough and ready” but nonetheless binding and immediately enforceable determinations regarding: • the purported termination of the head 16 –

construction contract on a $150 million project; • disputes over whether work was either within or outside scope, or was defective or not and must be repaired, which might lead to a determination that a contractor or subcontractor must carry out very substantial work despite lacking the resources to do so or clashes with other contractual commitments; • a determination that the principal can call on the performance bond. Retention trusts in brief

Officials’ intention is apparently that each party should only be required to hold a “net” amount of retentions – the difference between retentions held by it and retentions held against it. But this does not appear in the drafting. On its face, the amendment requires gross retention sums to be held at all levels of the contractual chain, effectively “sterilising” multiple trust amounts in order to protect what is ultimately a single cascade of funds through the chain. Similarly, the application of the trust regime to parties funding their activities from bank debt facilities is unclear. Again, the intention is apparently that debt-funded owners will be exempt. But it is unclear how the legislative drafting is meant to achieve this. Finally, the permission for commingled trust and non-trust monies seems an invitation to confusion and error, particularly in an industry unaccustomed to managing trust obligations.

The retentions part of the Bill was introduced by Supplementary Order Paper in March. It quite easily justifies a separate article of its own, and is dealt with here only in brief. The Bill creates a trust obligation over retention money held under any commercial construction contract. Party A (the party holding the retentions) must hold all retention money on trust for the benefit of party B (the party from whom the retentions are Where to from here? withheld). Though discussions with industry particiProper accounting records must be kept pants are ongoing, by the time of publicaParty A must not appropriate any reten- tion the Bill is likely to be either passed or tion money to its own use, and such mon- unstoppable. It should provide the relevant ey is not available for the payment of the consultants with a 12 month transition peridebts of any creditor of party A other than od in which to prepare for the changes but party B, and may not be attached or taken quite what is meant to be done in that time in execution. Party A may invest the reten- to deal with the issues discussed above is tion money and retain the interest earned, less clear. As a minimum, consultants should enbut is liable to make good any loss to the retention money if the investment is unsuc- gage on the insurance issues with their broker and insurer, as regards policy wording cessful. Contractual provisions aimed at delaying issues and expectations around communithe payment of retention money beyond cation and decision making, and establish completion of party B’s obligations are unequivocal internal protocols for spotvoid, as are clauses purporting to make ting and dealing with adjudication claims payment of retentions conditional on any- seamlessly and swiftly. Similarly, industry thing other than the performance of party participants will need to consider how their B’s obligations. Any attempt to contract out balance sheet will manage the elimination of retention funds required to be held on is void. More controversially, clause 18E(2) of the trust. In either case, delay will not be your proposed amendments provides that re- friend. tention money subject to the statutory trust need not be held in a separate bank account, and may be commingled with other moneys – presumably party A’s own money. This is contrary to the usual trustee obligation to hold trustee assets separately from its own. While possibly attractive on the surface, there are serious questions about whether John McKay and Edward Scorgie the impact of this reform has been ade- are partners at Chapman Tripp; John quately assessed, and whether the drafting specialising in construction law, property matches officials’ intentions as indicated disputes and media law and Edward in the accompanying Regulatory Impact in commercial litigation and dispute resolution Statement. June/July 2015

COMMENT >> Property

Integration vital for infrastructural success Connal Townsend Chief Executive Property Council NZ Local government, the private sector, and central government know that to create places where people want to live and work they have to provide adequate homes and functioning infrastructure


hat is why it is critical to integrate the development of houses, commercial buildings and ancillary infrastructure for successful and future-proof outcomes. It was chastening to be faced with Auckland Council’s announcements over the last few weeks that projects under the Special Housing Areas are running into trouble. This is because as they are being rolled out across the city, they are increasingly involving greenfield developments where there is a shortage of key infrastructure. This should come as a surprise because everyone has known for years that we have to integrate property development with infrastructure development, with the two sequenced together to work effectively and produce workable results. Let’s go back to 2009, when the former Department of Building and Housing issued a series of discussion documents about central government reforms that would make development or the building of cities work better. One document stated that as a key objective it was necessary to integrate the RMA, Local Government Act and the Land Transport Management Act to achieve efficient and effective developments in New Zealand cities. Years have gone by and it has not happened – that integration has not occurred. In its manifesto, published several years ago, Property Council argued that one of its key objectives is to achieve better integration between central and local infrastructure programmes. Separate silos One complicated scenario stems from the way central government ministries operate – in their own completely unique silos. In a sense, Land Transport has its own ministry, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has its own ministry with a focus on the Building Act, and the MinisJune/July 2015

One of the Property Council manifesto’s key objectives is to achieve better integration between central and local infrastructure programmes, which is sadly lacking at present both in Auckland and nationwide

try for the Environment has its own ministry working on the RMA. It also means government ministers are responsible for their own ministries only, with no single entity or person actually providing oversight on how infrastructure could be better integrated. Land transport has an important role and effect on cities, involving public transport and local and state highways. It includes a hierarchy of complexities; for example, local roads are built by going into individual houses while broader connector roads are built to link cities. But it is when these connect to a state highway that things get difficult. In Auckland, large-scale developments are beginning to affect state highways which are controlled by the Crown, not the local council. This raises the issue of integration at a national and local level, and reinforces the importance of ensuring central government and local government are on the same page and in dialogue when it comes to planning for infrastructure. Property Council believes the Auckland Plan’s Spatial Plan chapter is one of the truly great success stories of local government, and Auckland Council’s excellent work on it should be commended by the private sector. But the way different departments mesh into the Auckland Plan has al-

ways been problematic. In 2010, a technical advisory group was set up by Nick Smith to investigate possible reforms around urban development. One of its recommendations was that we need to reconsider the way the Crown buys into the spatial plan developed for a large city like Auckland. For example, where infrastructure was concerned, it went beyond just putting in water pipes and basic transport but also considered where prisons, schools, defence establishments and so on would be placed. That is because the location and timing of these facilities totally affect the roll-out of the development of the city. That is why integration is crucial to successfully building our cities. Property Council wholeheartedly agrees with the group’s recommendation that the Spatial Plan needs to be revisited, and central and local government need to come to the same table as soon as possible. Things can only get better after doing this. Connal Townsend is Chief Executive of the Property Council NZ, which represents the interests of the commercial property investment industry – including commercial, industrial, retail and property funds –17

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The Western Ring Route will link Manukau, Auckland, Waitakere and the North Shore via State Highways 20, 16 and 18, providing a much-needed alternative to the increasingly congested State Highway 1

New Zealand’s biggest motorway undertaking is firmly on track for completion on schedule the project managers told AsiaPacific Infrastructure Contributing Editor Romy Udanga


here’s clearly a lot riding on the farsighted Western Ring Route that is set to radically transform the Auckland motorway system when it opens in 2021. The ambitious plan calls for a 48-kilometre motorway that will link Manukau, Auckland, Waitakere and the North Shore via State Highways 20, 16 and 18 – the Southwestern and Northwestern Motorways and the Upper Harbour Highway. The route will provide an alternative to State Highway 1, allowing a large chunk of passenger and freight traffic to bypass the city and take the pressure off a straining transport system that already sees some 200,000 pass over the Auckland Harbour Bridge each day. One of the government’s seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS), the $2 billion Western Ring Route is the bigJune/July 2015

gest project ever undertaken by the New Zealand Transport Agency and is being completed under five separate contracts being undertaken by five different teams. A key element in the Western Ring Route is the massive reshaping of the on-ramps and exits at Te Atatu and Lincoln Rd and St Lukes; and extensive roadworks to improve the existing motorways, allowing traffic to flow into and out of the Waterview Tunnels that will link Waterview and Owairaka. SH16 Causeway Upgrade The $220 million Causeway Upgrade Project to raise and widen 4.8km of Auckland’s Northwestern motorway and cycleway between Great North Road and the Whau River Bridge is being delivered by the aptly named Causeway Alliance.

Comprising AECOM, Coffey, Fulton Hogan, Leighton Contractors, Jacobs and the Transport Agency itself, the alliance’s specialist skills in a range of safety, engineering, design, construction, environmental protection, management, commercial and support disciplines are successfully meeting the challenges of working in a protected marine reserve. Causeway Alliance Project Manager Mark Evans says that the causeway runs beside the Motu Manawa-Pollen Island Marine Reserve and one of the alliance’s primary challenges is to ensure that the project will have as little impact as possible on the marine reserve. “As such, the work is being completed in stages so that disruption to the community, our environment and to traffic is kept to an absolute minimum,” he explains. The resource consent condi-

tions had assumed a particular design and methodology which the alliance altered significantly in its proposal, which in turn meant that the alliance had to get consent conditions modifications approved in order to use its solution. “The consent risk was therefore extreme, and although we were confident the benefits of our refined plan would prevail, it posed a significant challenge,” Mr Evans admits. “We followed a prescribed plan that included technical evidence and community engagement which engendered support, and ultimate approval all to our target programme.” The Causeway Upgrade Project aims to prevent flooding and provide additional capacity for the Waterview Tunnels that open in early 2017 by bringing in 400,000m3 of rock to raise the motorway 1.5 metres. – 19

COVER STORY The St Lukes Road overbridge spanning the motorway will be widened as part of a $100 million project due for completion late next year

The additional capacity will be provided by widening the motorway from four to six lanes westbound and four to five eastbound, and raising, widening and upgrading the neighbouring shared pedestrian and cyclist path. This 4.8km section of the Great North Road (Waterview) interchange to the Whau River Bridge near Te Atatu in Auckland’s west Northwestern Motorway has steadily sunk into the Waitemata Harbour since it was first constructed in the mid1950s. Geotechnically the project is very complex because of the variable, deep, weak subsoil profile along the alignment, which includes Jurassic-peri-

od greywacke from 200 million years ago, marine mud that is 25 million years of age, 30,000-year-old basalt from the Mt Albert lava flow, and more recent shell banks. Vain attempts in the 1960s and 70s to maintain road levels and minimise flooding saw tonnes of asphalt layered on the pavement, so the alliance has opted to install 23,000 wick drains and pre-load to speed consolidation. The straw-like wick drains installed on either side of the extensions at Traherne Island are designed to drain seawater from marine mud under load, having been smothered in layers of sand, clay and quarried rock to raise the new road level

by the required 1.5m. The wick drains solution is predicted to be so successful that the new causeway is expected to have sunk just 0.5m after 25 years while sea levels are projected to rise no more than 0.25m in the same time. Just to be sure, the completed causeway and its surrounding marine reserve area will be further protected by some 104,000 tonnes of rocks to absorb wave energy on both sides of the motorway and minimise erosion. Other major works well in hand include the extension of the Whau River Bridge with 180m-long lanes, each featuring eight spans with three concrete T-beams per section that can weigh as much as 70 tonnes.

Work on the SH16 Causeway Upgrade commenced in May 2013 and is expected to be completed in before the end of 2016, with “about 60 percent completed” to date. “Traffic management is one of the most complex elements of the job, with up to 90,000 vehicles moving through the project site each day,” Mr Evans says. This heavy traffic load has spurred a close and continuing focus on health and safety that proved so successful that the Causeway Alliance won both the over $10M Category Award and the Overall Award at the NZ Contractors’ Federation Auckland AB Equipment Safety Awards in mid-2014. Award-winning innovations

Western Ring Route project stages Under construction:

• SH16 St Lukes Road to Great • SH18 Upper Harbour Bridge North Road Interchange • SH20 Waterview Connection • SH18 Hobsonville Deviation To be constructed: • SH20 Mt Roskill Extension • SH16 Causeway Upgrade • SH16 Royal Road Interchange • SH16 Lincoln Road Inter- Completed and open: • SH20 Manukau Harbour change Crossing • SH16 Westgate Pedestrian • SH20-1 Manukau Extension and Cycle bridge • SH16 Te Atatu Road Inter• SH20 Walmsley Road Inter- • SH20 Maioro Street Interchange change change upgrade • SH18 Greenhithe Deviation 20 –

June/July 2015

included the first use in a major New Zealand project of new lightweight steel road safety barriers with crash cushions for drivers’, passengers’ and workers’ protection. The alliance installed some 14 kilometres of the temporary barrier guard 800 TL4 steel barriers in place of concrete barriers because they are: • quick and safe to install • robust and non-reflective • stable because they are anchored directly onto the pavement using quick-link joints • weigh just 90kg per metre • absorb energy and redirect the vehicle away from site hazards and workers if they are hit • and have a 20-25 year estimated lifespan. A single truckload can fit 144m of the hollow steel barriers compared to just 36m of concrete barrier, which significantly reduces the number of truck movements in a tight project site. “The ease of handling and reduction of truck movements in a constrained site was

compelling, as was the ease of transport and redeployment elsewhere after the project ends.” Other innovations include the installation of red and green LED lights on operating machinery, the red light signifying when the machine is in operation and green when it’s isolated but is still switched on. The simple isolating mechanism costs under $200 to install and the LEDs provide the add-

alliance has overcome consenting, design, and construction challenges within a very difficult geological and sensitive marine environment. “We have been recognised as having innovated and raised the bar, in some of our construction and workforce health and safety practices, which is extremely satisfying,” he adds. “I’m most proud, however, watching our team members developing and taking on more as they grow

“We have been recognised as having innovated and raised the bar, in some of our construction and workforce health and safety practices” Mark Evans ed benefit of cutting through the fog that can plague the sea-level site, encouraging the Transport Agency, Fulton Hogan and Leighton Contractors to consider its use on other projects. Mr Evans says he is “very pleased” to be part of the team culture that has been developed to improve Auckland’s infrastructure, noting that the

and expand their potential to contribute further beyond this project – that is really exciting and satisfying.” SH16 Lincoln Road Interchange One of the first of the Western Ring Route projects to get underway, the SH16 Lincoln Road Interchange upgrade commenced in November 2010 and

according to Project Manager Brian Robertson “is nearing completion”. The $135 million project being delivered by Fulton Hogan involves significant improvements to the interchange and connecting motorway to ensure better and safer access to and from one of the city’s busiest motorways. It will comprise: • a new six-lane bridge at Selwood Road overbridge, future-proofed for seven lanes • the motorway widened to three lanes in each direction • extended bus shoulders • an improved Northwestern cycleway with a new 3m shared pedestrian/cycle path along the motorway and across the Selwood Road Bridge • a new, widened motorway bridge over the Henderson Creek • and replacement and widening of the eastbound Lincoln Bridge over the Huruhuru Creek and widening of the

Continued on page 22

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COVER STORY benefit of the city-bound works will only be felt by road users once the Te Atatu project and other projects on the Western Ring Route are completed.” SH16 Te Atatu Road Interchange

More than 400,000m3 of rocks have been brought in to raise the motorway 1.5m, while 23,000 wick drains will drain seawater from the marine mud to maintain stability and prevent erosion

Continued from page 21 eastbound motorway from Royal Road to Lincoln Road. The upgrade will ensure the interchange is better aligned to deal with the expected growth of the western suburbs and the industrial node of Henderson, Mr Robertson explains. “The largest challenge on the project has been the deconstruction and replacement of the old Henderson Creek Bridges (HCB),” he adds. The deconstruction was complicated by the fact that it spanned a creek and the 50-year-old bridges needed to be analysed and then taken apart piece by piece. “We were assisted in the deconstruction by Christchurch-based consultant, Structex, which worked with our team to engineer the deconstruction methodology,” Mr Robertson continues. Temporary support of beams while the bridge was cut into pieces and ensuring all the cement slurry was captured to prevent it entering the creek

was a key part of the methodology. “A large truss gantry that was used on the Northern Gateway Alliance was used to remove the bridge sections and proved to

Work started on the improvements at Te Atatu in February 2014 and is set to be completed in early 2016. Key features of the $50 million project include: • widening the Northwestern motorway between the Henderson Creek Bridge and the Whau River Bridge • rebuilding and widening all five ramps on the interchange • enhancing existing facilities for walkers and cyclists • and widening and raising the Te Atatu Road overbridges. The Te Atatu overbridge was raised approximately 600mm to create a better height safety margin for the motorway below and reduce the chance of the bridge being hit by over-height loads. The bridge actually comprises three separate structures: • the existing pedestrian bridge was raised in November last year • the second bridge from Te Atatu South to the Peninsula was jacked up over Christmas

“Both projects have achieved 99 percent of Zero Harm days to date” Brian Robertson be ideal,” he says. “The bridges were deconstructed without any injuries or environmental breach, which is a tribute to the structures team on the project.” The new replacement bridges are complete and the large bridge deck cast on May 19 was stitched together to the previously completed east and west-bound bridges on May 30, leaving the final road tie-in to the HCB the only major element still underway. Mr Robertson, who manages both the SH16 Lincoln Road Interchange and SH16 Te Atatu Road Interchange projects for Fulton Hogan, says the project will be completed in early September 2015. “However, the full

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• and the third bridge from Te Atatu Peninsula to Te Atatu South was lifted over ANZAC weekend in late April. Mr Robertson says his team utilised a subtle combination of techniques and technologies for the bridge works on both Lincoln Road and Te Atatu. “We used in-house-designed steel stub beams to support bridge sections while we wire-sawed the bridge into sections, which proved to be very successful,” he explains. “The jacking technologies used on Te Atatu are welltried and tested, but our experienced team were able to adapt these different technologies to get the best result for

SH16 St Lukes Road Project Manager Ian Moffat :“The team is challenged daily to provide safe reliable journeys for the public and create safe work zones for the construction team”

our situation.” Mr Robertson says the biggest technical challenge on the Te Atatu project has been the raising of the bridges and then the widening and strengthening of the structures. “Dealing with older bridges and modifying them to modern code requirements is always a challenge,” he admits. Fortunately, he had a great team, including Beca as designers, and an experienced structures team which had “considerable experience” in deconstruction and upgrading bridges. “Modifying the bridges but having to accommodate the significant traffic volume in the intersection adds to the challenge and complexity.” The other challenge on the project is dealing with the motorway traffic as the team raises and lowers sections of the motorway to improve the safety of the carriageway. “This requires multiple traffic switches on to new sections while working on the adjacent sections,” Mr Robertson observes. “Both these operations have required a large amount of night work.” Currently his team has completed the jacking of the bridges and are busy with the widening and strengthening works. “The four new ramps are well advanced and will be commissioned in June to allow work to commence in the median of the motorway.” Mr Robertson says he is extremely proud of the devoted June/July 2015

SH16 Lincoln Road Interchange Project Manager Brian Robertson: “The largest challenge on the project has been the deconstruction and replacement of the old Henderson Creek Bridges”

Causeway Alliance Project Manager Mark Evans: “Trafficmanagement is one of the most complex elements of the job, with up to 90,000 vehicles moving through the project site each day”

NZTA Highways Manager Brett Gliddon: “It is a comprehensive project that is a tribute not only to the five contracting teams delivering the works but also to the resilience of the people of Auckland”

team that has helped construct both the Lincoln Road and Te Atatu projects. “The Fulton Hogan staff, Transport Agency, consultants and subcontractor partners and designers have been outstanding and are the reason that the projects have been successful,” he maintains. He adds that these are “extremely complex projects” which are constructed amongst many residents, businesses and a huge number of motorists

who use the motorway each day. “We have managed to construct them ahead of schedule and with minimal disruption to stakeholders and this is particularly satisfying for me,” Mr Robertson says. “We have had to work a lot of nights and public holidays to reduce disruption to travellers and this comes at a personal sacrifice to our teams, for which we should all be very grateful.” Keeping his team safe is one

of his key concerns and the fact that so few have been injured over the past four years has been very pleasing. “Both projects have achieved 99 percent of Zero Harm days to date.”

Well-Connected Alliance Project Manager John Burden: “Alice was turned with just millimetres to spare inside the tunnels’ northern approach trench by an extraordinary feat of engineering”

Transport Agency and Auckland Transport. Construction started on the $100 million project in May 2014 and when completed in early 2016 will see the two kilometre-long section of the moSH16 St Lukes Road to Great torway widened from three to North Road four lanes in each direction. There will also be improveSet apart from the five other projects that make up the ments to the motorway ramps Western Ring Route, the SH16 St Lukes Interchange Upgrade Continued on page 24 project is jointly funded by the



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COVER STORY A large truss gantry that was used on the Northern Gateway Alliance was used to deconstruct, remove and replace the Henderson Creek bridge sections

and the St Lukes Road-Great North Road intersection, while the St Lukes Road overbridge spanning the motorway will be widened and an extra lane added for motorists in both directions and improved facilities for walkers and cyclists. As with the other Western Ring Route projects, urban design themes will be consistent along the SH16 corridor integrating the Hobsonville motorway with the Causeway Upgrade Project, Waterview Connection and Central Motorway Junction. Landscaping and planting throughout the projects, include wall and screen planting to minimise impacts on the environment and neighbours, is complemented by a permanent sedimentation pond to catch and filter stormwater run-off from the Great North Road Interchange. SH16 St Lukes Road Project Manager for Leighton Contractors Ian Moffat says the biggest challenge for the St Lukes Interchange Upgrade team is developing construction areas while maintaining the existing traffic lanes, pedestrian access and the Northwestern Cycleway. “The site is heavily constrained by third-party property, environmental and public

amenity, limiting the amount of space we have available to develop work zones,” he explains. “The team has generated work zones under temporary traffic management, including narrow lanes, night closures and the closure of St Lukes Road overbridge over the durations of Easter weekend, when traffic volumes are typically quite low.” The closure of the St Lukes Road overbridge during Easter allowed a traffic switch to occur and be diverted onto the western side of the new St Lukes Road overbridge. “With the traffic switched on to the new bridge the old bridge was deconstructed, which will be completed in four sections,” Mr Moffat adds. “Now the bridge has been deconstructed, construction of the new bridge can begin.” The project has commenced the footpath and completion works for Great North Road that will be largely finished in the third quarter of this year, while Great North Road itself remains under temporary traffic management until the second half of the new bridge is completed later in the year. Mr Moffat says that the key risks for the deconstruction of the existing St Lukes Road over-

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bridge include safe and reliable journeys on SH16 and the potential for noise that could be generated from the concrete saw cutting. The team managed these risks by developing a solution where 85 percent of the saw cutting could safely be undertaken during normal working hours and without motorway closures in place. The concrete deck was partially cut during the day with the final through-cut undertaken during a motorway closure at night, using a specialised concrete blade to reduce noise. The slurry from the concrete cutting was collected in a large, purpose-built temporary gutter positioned on a temporary platform and fitted with a water bar to jet the concrete slurry from the structure, thus enabling the motorway to be open daily and

on time without any obstructions or debris from the deconstruction activities. “The St Lukes project is a fantastic project to work on as it provides a diverse range of engineering challenges for the team,” Mr Moffat enthuses. “The team is challenged daily to provide safe reliable journeys for the public and create safe work zones for the construction team.” A good example is the St Lukes Road overbridge closure during the Easter Period. “These works were the culmination of four months of planning, followed by three months of early works leading up to the closure.” The St Lukes Road construction team is continuing to work closely with the Transport Agency and scheme designers Aurecon to construct solutions

The work in numbers • more than 400,000m3 of spoil removed from the tunnels • 12,070 concrete tunnel lining segments placed • Alice is 90m long and weighs 3100 tonnes • Alice tunnels at around 100m per week, or about 8cm per minute • Dennis is 97.5m long and weighs just under 160 tonnes • over 250,000 plants will be planted as part of the Waterview Connection • more than 23,000 wick drains have been ‘planted’ on the causeway to help the fill settle June/July 2015

Much of the work is being done at night to avoid disrupting traffic,incluing the bridge beam lift

which will provide a quality product and value for money while maintaining minimal disruption to the public. SH20 Waterview Connection The $1.4 billion Waterview Connection project is one of the most important infrastructure developments ever to take place in New Zealand, and the country’s largest and most ambitious roading project. Due to be opened in early 2017, it involves construction of 4.8kms of six-lane highway – half of which will be underground – to connect the Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways (SH16 and SH20) on the Western Ring Route around the city. The project is being delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance, consisting of the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin and Taylor, and the Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation. The alliance has in turn formed further sub-alliance partnerships with pre-cast concrete June/July 2015

suppliers Wilson Tunnelling, which produces segments for the tunnel linings and the tunnels’ services culvert as well as super T beams for the project’s Great North Road Interchange, and Spanish tunnel control specialists, SICE, which will work with the team installing the equipment necessary to operate the tunnels and manage long-term tunnel maintenance and operation. The 2.4-kilometre Waterview tunnel that will be the largest road tunnel in Australasia is being drilled by custom-built tunnel boring machine (TBM) dubbed Alice, which has a cutting diameter of 14.4m and is the 10th-largest machine of its kind built to date. Alice began its journey to build the two Waterview tunnels in November 2013 at Owairaka and broke into daylight at Waterview on September 29, 2014 before being turned around to complete the return journey. Well-Connected Alliance Project Manager John Burden says turning the TBM around so that it can bore the second tunnel was one of the most innovative

and exciting recent challenges his team encountered. “It was turned with just millimetres to spare inside the tunnels’ northern approach trench by an extraordinary feat of engineering,” he recalls. The huge tunnel boring machine is now well into her return journey to complete the second motorway tunnel, having excavated about 900 metres of the second tunnel, which is more than a third of the way along her 2.4km-long southbound journey to Owairaka. She has passed under Great North Road, one of Auckland’s busiest arterial links, and is making “very consistent and steady” progress, says Transport Agency Highways Manager Brett Gliddon. “Everything is on track for her planned breakthrough at Owairaka in midspring.” Tunnelling resumed after a complex operation to turn Alice, with the front section or cutter head turned first to excavate the first 250m of the second tunnel and provide room for the rest of the TBM and other facilities.

“Worldwide, very few TBMs are turned to complete a second run underground and the project’s extraordinary innovation to achieve this manoeuvre with just millimetres to spare at times is now fully complete,” Mr Gliddon says. “All the support facilities for Alice are in place and fully functioning.” Alice broke through into daylight at the end of last September after excavating the first of the two three-lane tunnels that are part of New Zealand’s biggest and most ambitious road transport project. Alice’s work is one part of this year’s busy works programme to complete both tunnels: • temporary bridges have been built linking the tunnels’ northern portals to speed up supplies of concrete tunnel segments to the TBM • backfilling is under way to build the motorway lanes and install the concrete culvert – the tunnel within a tunnel – to carry electronic and electrical services is in the second tunnel • installing mechanical and electrical equipment in the – 25


Waterview Connection fast facts • Project duration: 66 months • Length: 4.8km • Tunnel length: 2.4km • Tunnel diameter: 13.1m (twin tunnels) • Maximum depth: 45m • Tunnelling method: Earth Pressure Balance Machine (EPBM) (10th-largest ever built) • Completion: early 2017 • Project cost: NZ$1.4b

Continued from page 25 first tunnel is starting • work is also beginning on the excavation of 17 cross passages that will connect the two tunnels • the ‘hole’ above the northern portals – the Northern Approach Trench – is being covered to accommodate new local road layouts above ground. Mr Burden says it is a privilege to be leading the delivery of such an important piece on infrastructure for Auckland and New Zealand. “The project is going well and it is on track for opening, as planned, in early 2017,” he assures. The Great North Road Interchange bridges are a very visible part of the project. “They act as a showcase that demonstrates the capabilities and commitments within the whole project that includes not only the physical works but also the pre-cast concrete facilities at East Tamaki and the old quarry at Wiri where we dispose the spoil from the tunnels.” The arrangement brings together the knowledge and

strong, home-grown reputation of leading New Zealand engineering companies with the tunnelling expertise of its international partners to deliver a world-class project with a distinctly Kiwi accent. Mr Burden says that apart from the tunnelling and other physical works one of the biggest challenges has been putting together a team to deliver the project. “At its peak, our workforce totalled well over 800 people, who came not only from the nine different organisations that make up the Well-Connected Alliance but also from many different countries as well,” he notes. I am very proud of the way all our teams work together.” Collectively the aim is to work closely with the local communities and the Transport Agency’s regional partners to ensure the project provides a socially responsible, sustainable transport solution that respects the surrounding environment, both through construction and longterm. Another challenge is “fitting”

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such a massive project into Auckland’s complex urban environment. “From day one, we have carefully balanced our progress against the impact our work has on our immediate neighbours, the wider Auckland community, and on those people who drive on the motorways and local roads through what is essentially a live construction zone,” Mr Burden says. “Until our work is finished, our opendoor policy and making sure we are available and respectful when dealing with peoples’ concerns remains in place.” Besides completing the Western Ring Route, the Waterview Connection will also provide amenities for the project’s community neighbours including landscaping improvements, new links for walkers and cyclists, and sports and recreation facilities. Transport Agency Highways Manager Brett Gliddon says the Western Ring Route will improve network resilience, travel time reliability and bus shoulder lanes, and upgrade cycleway and pedestrian facilities. “This improved network effi-

ciency and the additional capacity provided by the completed route will among others help ease pressure on local roads, improve public transport along the route and enhance pedestrian and cycling facilities,” he says. “For example, should there be an incident elsewhere on the network, drivers will no longer need to rely just on the busy SH1/Auckland Harbour Bridge motorway corridor.” Better motorway connections from Manukau to Waitakere, the central city and Albany are also expected to increase access to Auckland’s western suburbs, supporting planned commercial and residential expansion in that area, as well as provide more reliable access to/from Auckland International Airport. “All in all, it is an extremely comprehensive, exciting and impressive project that stands as a tribute to the five contracting teams delivering the works that will ultimately be of such immense benefit to the immediate city and the wider region and we greatly appreciate the patience and support of local residents and road users.” June/July 2015

Key dates


he Western Ring Route will be substantially done by 2017 and fully completed when the Lincoln Road to Westgate and Upper Harbour Highway upgrades are finished in 2021. • The St Lukes to Great North Road upgrade will be completed in the first quarter of 2016 • The Lincoln Road upgrade will be completed late 2015 • The Te Atatu Interchange upgrade will be completed in the first half of 2016 • The Causeway Upgrade will be completed by late 2016 • The Waterview tunnels will open to traffic in early 2017.

June/July 2015 – 27


Combining forces could save councils millions Three Waikato councils could save nearly half a billion dollars within the next three decades by forming a ratepayer-owned company to manage water infrastructure a major report claims


ndependent consultants Cranleigh recommend Hamilton city, Waipa and Waikato councils transfer their water assets into a single ratepayer-owned and council-controlled organisation (CCO). Councils should retain ownership of stormwater assets but outsource their management to the CCO says the report, which

was commissioned by the councils last year to scrutinise three options for the delivery and management of water services. Cranleigh Managing Director Paul Bayly says forming a CCO would “conservatively” save the community more than $468 million over 28 years or $107 million over 10 years. Under the CCO model, Hamil-

ton residential ratepayers could pay about $38 less a year for water and wastewater based on 2015/16 charges and Waipa ratepayers about $68 less for water services, while Waikato District ratepayers could reap $106 in savings a year. The CCO would also offer several other benefits including: • a much stronger regional wa-

ter network • cleaner drinking water and wastewater • a greater likelihood of attracting and retaining expert water staff • and the creation of a regional centre of excellence other councils could tap into. The savings of nearly half a billion dollars are significant on

Waikato councils leading the way


he council-controlled organisation (CCO) concept recommended for the Waikato could be suitable for many more councils in New Zealand, says Water New Zealand Chief Executive John Pfahlert. “I’m not sure that a CCO is the best answer in every circumstance, but probably for most,” he believes. The challenge is that the 3 Waters components of most councils in New Zealand are too small and really need to be combined with their neighbours to gain the best value from a 3 Waters CCO. “The real challenge for elected council members is that once you remove the 3 Waters and or roading from their balance sheets to be operated commercially the residual council functions comprise less than half of most council activities – hence the resistance to change.” Council amalgamations would be the logical alternative to a CCO, Mr Pfahlert suggests. “However Water New Zealand has promoted that approach over many years and has decided not to continue this advocacy as core business,” he reveals. “That doesn’t mean we agree that the structure of local government is correct, it’s just that there are more important matters for the association to focus on – such as technical advice to members.” An enhanced shared services (ESS) arrangement could also be a viable alternative for

some councils instead of a fully fledged CCO, he believes, citing Wellington Water as a good example. “It provides a larger number of people to an organisation where there is the ability to retain specialised staff, much more so than in a smaller unit,” Mr Pfahlert observes. “It also attracts better quality staff.” Water New Zealand therefore expects to see more councils adopt either the CCO or ESS approach in coming years. “I believe that as smaller councils come under financial pressure to replace aging infrastructure that councils will look to merge services with adjoining councils,” Mr Pfahlert predicts. There will also be the increased exposure to the success of other models operating around New Zealand for them to draw on, with obvious candidates for early adoption probably places such as Hawke’s Bay where dialogue is already underway regarding council amalgamation. “They will be in a position to judge the risks of alternative approaches based on the experiences of their colleagues.” All in all, Water New Zealand supports the report’s findings. “On the face of it the report seems to have assessed the options and come up with a solution that will work well for the three councils,” Mr Pfahlert says, noting that this model is working well in Auckland via Watercare Services. “Evidence suggests that larg-

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er administrative units administering 3 Waters assets delivers improved outcomes for ratepayers,” he explains. “The development of Wellington Water is a good example – even though they do not own the assets.” New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development Chief Executive Stephen Selwood is equally enthusiastic and believes the Hamilton City and Waipa and Waikato district councils should be commended for looking at innovative ways to improve services to ratepayers at lower costs. “It’s encouraging to see Waikato councils front-footing emerging challenges and seeking out new opportunities,” he says. The Cranleigh report’s findings of close to half a billion dollars of savings over the next 30 years and $107 million over the next decade are consistent with experience elsewhere, including in Scotland, Tasmania and Auckland, Mr Selwood observes. “In Scotland, a publicly owned special-purpose water company has achieved 40 percent savings in operating costs whilst dramatically increasing capital investment in water infrastructure to provide better services to users,” he notes. “Closer to home, Watercare has realised $104 million in savings per annum following its consolidation of water services in Auckland, at the same time as scale has enabled upgrades to Rodney and Franklin’s infra-

Water New Zealand Chief Executive John Pfahlert: “I believe that as smaller councils come under financial pressure to replace aging infrastructure that councils will look to merge services with adjoining councils” structure that was not affordable under the former council structure.” The Cranleigh report has also met with the initial approval of Local Government New Zealand, with President Lawrence Yule commenting that it has been “positive” to see the work of the Waikato Mayoral Forum explore options around its future delivery of its 3 Waters. “Whilst the councils are now considering the study’s recommendations, we acknowledge the good work of the forum in taking a proactive look at the options for future delivery of water management services,” Mr Yule says. “This aligns with a key theme in LGNZ’s wider project 3 Waters, to establish a clearer picture of the performance of drinking and wastewater assets and services and consider options for increasing performance around service and infrastructure delivery.” June/July 2015

their own, Mr Bayly says. “But it is the non-financial advantages, including unlocking the region’s economic potential, which are just as important,” he believes. “For example, some industries can’t even operate in the sub-region because of challenges around water and the way the current model works.” The report recommends a jointly-owned CCO be a notfor-profit company acting in the best interests of water customers. Transferring publicly-owned water assets into a private company is not an option as privatising council-delivered water services is against the law in New Zealand. Any surpluses gained from savings should be re-invested in the waters network to improve environmental performance or returned to water customers as reduced water costs, the document says. It recommends a board of six directors appointed by all three councils govern the CCO, with a joint committee of elected councillors to overview the company’s performance and set the parameters under which it could operate. “The delivery of water is a core activity and we very strongly believe that councils, as owners of the company, should have a strong influence. “We are not in any way suggesting that councils ‘walk away’ from water. We’re saying entirely the opposite. For the good of the region, we believe there needs to be a far stronger, more comprehensive and longer-term focus on water infrastructure by people whose only role is to deliver the best possible water services at the best price. At the

moment, water infrastructure is fighting for its share of funding among all the other services that councils are responsible for. ” The report investigated two other options, including retaining the status quo with all three councils continuing to run their own water operations , but says the status quo would always offer “only basic service delivery and performance and at a higher cost to ratepayers”. Similarly, an enhanced shared services (ESS) concept that would pool the councils’ water teams in one unit to manage most water services for all three councils would generate operating expenditure savings of $64m over 28 years and estimated capital expenditure savings of $40m over 28 year but coordination costs could easily exceed the savings. “The success of an ESS model would be wholly dependent upon strong cooperation and goodwill between member

councils over many years,” the report adds. “Shared services models are rarely successful over a longer term because they rely on the goodwill and collegiately of all parties and a very strong process of joint decision-making.” Mr Bayly says plans were already in place to address those issues with the three councils looking to spend a combined $764 million over the next decade on water infrastructure. “But the funding challenges, given predicted population growth, are very real and it’s ratepayers and developers who pay for it.” Mr Bayly says the report did not consider any issues around tariffs, including water meters. “This report is about infrastructure,” he insists. “It’s got nothing to do with how individual councils may or may not choose to recoup their costs.” The report estimates that a CCO would see staff numbers across all three councils reduce by 36 over three years. “This is

within the levels of normal staff turnover so we would anticipate very few, if any, redundancies. “ Waikato Mayor Allan Sanson, who chaired the governance group of councillors overseeing the report, said the recommendation to form a CCO was now “squarely in the hands of individual councils.” Only a recommendation has been received, he notes. “No decisions have been made and won’t be made for some time yet and certainly not without public input,” Mr Sanson assures. “There’s a lot of questions that have to be answered and each council will need to consider the report separately and come to its own conclusion.” If the CCO recommendation is accepted, councils will undertake a special consultative process, meaning a final decision on whether or not to form a CCO is unlikely until late 2015 after the consultation is complete and community feedback considered.

Cranleigh Managing Director Paul Bayly: “Forming a CCO would conservatively save the community more than $468 million over 28 years or $107 million over 10 years”

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June/July 2015 – 29

COMMENT >> Infrastructure investment

Local Government

Lawrence Yule President, LGNZ

Sound strategies provide profitable pay off

The adoption of the 2015 - 2015 Long Term Plans means the new 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies are now available for the first time


he requirement to prepare the strategies came out of the LGA 2002 Amendment Act 2014 which was enacted in July last year, so the fact that councils have prepared and adopted their strategies within 12 months is to be commended. The strategies themselves are designed to identify: • significant infrastructure issues • options for managing those options • the implications of those options. Amongst the matters that councils must take into account are the impact on public and environmental health; levels of service and how the risk of natural hazards is intended to be managed. Time frames are also important and the strategies provide an indication of when major investments will be needed, whether for growth or renewal. The strategies apply to the following infrastructure activities: • water supply • sewerage and the treatment of sewage • storm water • flood protection • roads and footpaths.

Building confidence A nation that provides good infrastructure, good services and good governance is more likely to attract investment and skilled migrants. Achieving this is a challenge for countries and many are now finding that the quality of their infrastructure has declined over recent generations. It often takes a crisis to focus public attention on the issue, such as the flooding of New Orleans. Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers graded the state of US infrastructure and awarded it a D+, estimating the size of the infrastructure deficit at $3.6 trillion. Without good infrastructure communities fail and if infrastructure is seen as failing then our towns and cities will struggle to attract investment. To address this risk 30 –

our citizens need confidence in the quality of our public institutions, the capability of council management and, most of all, the ability of their elected members to make good decisions not only for the current generation but for generations to come. This is why public information on the state of our infrastructure, and plans for maintaining and enhancing it, is critical. If people and businesses have confidence that a city or district is well governed and appropriate provision is made for quality infrastructure now and in the future they will be more prepared to live in our communities and invest. The new 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies also avoid the “year 11 problem” – a phrase used to describe when significant infrastructure investment is scheduled in year 11 and beyond of a council’s Long Term Plan.

Zealand are generally sound and currently performing largely as expected. However, new demands are putting pressure on levels of service that may need to change in the future. The following graph from a selected council’s draft infrastructure strategy is a good example of what the information in the 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies can tell us. This council clearly understands the condition of its three waters and transport infrastructure and has identified when renewal investments need to be made over the coming 30 years to maintain levels of service.

Planning priorities Councils around New Zealand own more than $90 billion of core infrastructure. Ensuring infrastructure services run efficiently and effectively, and are well maintained for the future must be a priority. Quality, well-maintained infrastructure assets are important to communities. This is why LGNZ launched its 3 Waters project, presenting a clear national picture of New Zealand’s water infrastructure for the first time; and the LGNZ Local Government Funding Review, which is focused on identifying the best ways of funding intergenerational infrastructure. Worth an estimated $35 billion, the “three waters” are a significant and important infrastructure asset for New Zealand which councils need to manage prudently and invest wisely, particularly with changing demographics and expectations ahead. The information collected through the 3 Waters’ project shows that the potable, wastewater and stormwater systems in New

Council capital renewal expenditure and depreciation funding For some councils the strategies will indicate how councils plan to reduce infrastructure provision to reflect declining or changing population patterns. It can be easy to ignore some core infrastructure as it is underground and ‘out of sight and out of mind’. Quality infrastructure, however, is the backbone of strong local government. It is crucial the sector thinks long-term and continues to deliver quality infrastructure for the future. The first tranche of 30 Year Infrastructure Strategies look likely to refocus attention on councils’ plans for long term infrastructural investment. This is to be welcomed. Lawrence Yule is President of Local Government New Zealand, which represents the interests of 78 local authorities in New Zealand June/July 2015

COMMENT >> Planning

Local Government

Leigh Auton Director Auton & Associates

Public input missing from planning process

The hearing processes before the Independent Hearings Panel for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan have been an interesting experience


irst and foremost, the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PUAP) and hearings process is enormous. Simply getting the proposed plan to this stage shows much credit to the Auckland Council. The pressure on the politicians, planners and administration staff at the council must have been, and remains, immense. Much credit to them. Credit must also go to the central government for establishing the legislation which has required the Auckland community to get to the hearing stage so quickly. While there are downsides, and I will come to these, tight deadlines can be great incentives to get things done. This is the case in Auckland. As a professional planner, I have experienced the process leading up to a hearing before the panel on several occasions now. The mediation processes have generally been useful, at least in arriving at areas which are agreed between the parties and those that are not. The actual hearings, preceded by the evidence in chief and rebuttal evidence, have been refreshing and elucidating. While no party will know the outcome of the hearings until the middle of 2016, I feel that the independent panel has evidenced great appreciation of the issues, and has maintained an engaging approach to the submitters and issues. My clients feel they have ‘had their day in court’. The downsides of the whole hearing process have been, from my observation, the limited involvement of the Auckland public. This is not a criticism of any party, but a function of the scale and speed of the process. Even as an experienced professional I find the process challenging, and I know this applies equally to many of the professionals involved in the process. A key issue, given the absence of large sectors of the Auckland community, will June/July 2015

be how the panel can craft a document which is generally acceptable to the community in the absence of their voice on many of the issues. It is worth noting that the independent panel’s decisions are a recommendation to the Auckland Council. This will be provided to the council in the middle of 2016, a few months prior to the local government elections in October. The council has a month to initiate changes to the panel’s recommendation, followed by a process leading to the Environment Court.

“I think many in the Auckland community would be surprised at the level of regulation that is being advocated” Possible participation While I have significant respect for the capability of the panel to interpret community aspirations, it is likely that some parts of the Auckland community may find its voice through the lead-up to the election. I am not against this at all, it is part of a democratic society, but it could make for some interesting political debates in the latter part of next year. My concern always is that District Plans, Unitary Plans, Regional Policy Statements and similar planning documents are, within the parameters of the law, reflective of input from the wider community. Such documents cannot be made by and in the interests of professionals, or of the powerful institutions or corporates. Planning documents, which legally define community and individual property rights, are essentially a ‘compact’ between the governed and the governors. The documents, in their final form, need to have

general community acceptance that they are fair and equitable, and that the general interests of people and the community are taken into account. Taken too far away from broad acceptance inevitably leads to agitation to change the law, the documents or the politicians who are ultimately held responsible by the public, and the process begins all over again. Hence the challenge of the Independent Hearings Panel, and the Auckland Council in its response to the recommendations of the panel. Having said all this, I have confidence that the process will land in a generally good space. At this stage however, I do worry about the level of regulation that many of the institutional parties are advocating. I think many in the Auckland community would be surprised at the level of regulation that is being advocated. Indeed, I think many central and local government politicians would also be surprised at the level of intervention that is being suggested. The response of course is a matter for the Independent Hearings Panel to adjudicate upon. However, in my opinion, too much regulation will stifle the general wellbeing of Auckland. Likewise it will put at risk the ‘compact’ I referred to earlier. Sustainable management is a balancing act of the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-beings. The challenge for Auckland is to get the ‘right balance’, sufficient to allow innovation and entrepreneurial spirit while protecting our environment. That is the hope. Leigh Auton is a Director of Auton & Associates and has 35 years’ local government experience. He is a chairman/director/trustee on several boards and provides consulting advice to public and private sector companies –31


Big no to super cities The decision not to provide Wellington and Northland with super councils is a missed opportunity for local communities the Property Council maintains


he Local Government Commission’s decision not to proceed with “super city” proposals for Wellington and Northland has met with a mixed response from Property Council Chief Executive Connal Townsend. He says while it was “disheartening” to see the community’s lack of support behind local government reorganisation in Wellington, the council is “cautiously optimistic” the commission has left room for movement by acknowledging the appetite for change and urging other alternatives be considered. “In the same breath, the commission has recommended Hawke’s Bay five councils amalgamate into one, which will help the region benefit economically, socially and competitively.” The Property Council is a proponent of local government reorganisation in the regions to the extent that such reform saves money, increases efficiencies, streamlines regulations and makes it easier for the regions to grow. “Right now, we have too many different local authorities who are not necessarily in sync with each other, each with their own distinct rules and bylaws, which are simply not conducive to growth,” Mr Townsend maintains. He notes that Auckland saved $131 million in operating costs to June 2013 which has been forecasted to hit $188 million by 2018. “This is a significant figure which could go into developing other parts of the region.”

These savings have been atised democracy, and contributed to simpler information cerns about the risks of largetechnology, improved purchasscale change ing and tendering practices, • a minority supported the less work contracted out and proposal because it would fewer offices used. “We are streamline and improve deproposing the same for the recision-making and set a foungions, who we know are in desdation for future prosperity perate need of growth.” • there was a mood for change to improve local government Better luck services in the region; many Wellington and Northland submissions favoured either may have missed out on amalsmaller-scale mergers or ingamation, but an application creased use of shared servicfor reorganisation of local goves ernment by local stakeholder • and most affected councils group A Better Hawkes Bay recognised the need for had better luck. “We believe in change and submitted opHawke’s Bay there is commutions for improvements to the nity support for reorganising current system. local government, that the final The results of the Northland proposal will promote good lo- consultation process were even cal government, and is in the more emphatic: region’s best interests,’’ says • 90 percent of submitters did Local Government Commission not support the draft proposChair Basil Morrison. al, with strong opposition in He says different regions have the Whangarei District different challenges and may • most opposed the proposrequire different responses to al because of a preference those challenges. “All three for the status quo or an encommunities have indicated hanced version of it, with some change in local governconcern that a single unitary ment is needed to ensure reauthority would not provide gions can be more effective and for local decision-making, be efficient and make decisions harder to administer, and poabout what will be needed in tentially trigger an increased future.” rates burden Several main themes emerged • some concern was also exfrom the Wellington consultapressed about the loss of tion: environmental regulatory checks and balances if re• 89 percent of submitters did gional functions were placed not support the draft proposin the same organisation that al, with opposition strongest delivered services in the Hutt Valley • most opposed the proposal • a minority supported the because of a preference for proposal because it would the status quo, more localstreamline decision-making

Local Government and provide a more effective basis for economic development in the region • some submitters indicated support for smaller-scale mergers, transferring functions or developing a shared service arrangement between the existing councils • all existing councils in the region recognised the need for improvements in both strategic decision-making and the delivery of services. Instead the commission will return to those communities to work with them and seek to develop other options to address the challenges those regions face, having issued a final proposal for reorganising Hawke’s Bay’s local government. Local Government Commission Chief Executive Sandra Preston says there was little support for the major structural option proposed for Wellington but there was a “widespread mood” for some form of change. Northland councils had also made progress in identifying alternative ways to provide good local government since the draft proposal was released and the commission hopes to work with the community in building on that momentum. The commission “looks forward” to collaborating and engaging with councils and communities in Northland and Wellington. “There needs to be more emphasis on the role of communities identifying the challenges they face, the options that can address those


gional infrastructure cision-making and services in Napier and Hastings it is he Local Government locally only growing slowly, which will • a single council will save monCommission believes a pose financial challenges in single Hawke’s Bay couney which can be invested in • a single council with five the future cil is the best option for the rethe region strong boards will deliver gion’s future because: more efficient and effective • historic local government • the region will benefit from local government • Hawke’s Bay is lagging behind boundaries don’t reflect tocoordinated planning and deday’s reality of interconnected cision-making on region-wide the rest of the country • a single council will have the communities with a regional issues – and local commu• The region’s population is scale to achieve more for the economy dependent on renities will benefit from deregion, more quickly. falling in rural areas – even 32

June/July 2015

Local Government Commission Chief Executive Sandra Preston: “It is now up to the people of Hawke’s Bay to have further input into whether or not this final proposal goes ahead”

Local Government Commission Chair Basil Morrison: “We believe in Hawke’s Bay there is community support for reorganising local government”

challenges, and the development of more consensus on their preferred approach to change,’’ Ms Preston says. “Our goal will be to assist both communities to reach sufficient consensus on the changes required and the best form of local government.’’ As required under the Local Government Act, if this process results in new options for reform with community support the commission would then prepare new draft proposals for wider consultation in Wellington and Northland. The Local Government Commission’s deliberations followed an application in May 2013 by the Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa District Councils for a local government reorganisation that would create a stand-alone unitary authority incorporating – in the Wairarapa – the roles of all three district councils and the Greater Wellington Regional Council. June that year saw the Greater Wellington Regional Council also apply to establish a single

council that would combine the roles of all the district councils in the region and those of the regional council, complemented by a number of local boards with responsibility for managing defined local issues. The process started earlier in Northland, with the Far North District Council applying in December 2102 for a local government reorganisation that would have created a single unitary authority for the Far North District, with arrangements for the remainder of the region unspecified. Hawke’s Bay highlights Hawke’s Bay is to have a single new council for Hawke’s Bay, imaginatively titled Hawke’s Bay Council, with five local boards sharing decision-making and representing the interests of the region’s varied communities. “In the commission’s view, a single Hawke’s Bay Council will enable local government to be delivered in a more effective and efficient manner to address the issues and opportunities

the region faces,’’ Mr Morrison says. The commission “worked hard and listened carefully” before issuing its final proposal, says Ms Preston. “It is now up to the people of Hawke’s Bay to have further input into whether or not this final proposal goes ahead,” she adds. “They can ask for a poll to vote on it if they wish.’’ A poll can be requested if 10 percent of electors in any affected area such as Napier City or Wairoa District sign a petition seeking one, but if no poll is requested or the poll shows support for the proposal the reorganisation scheme is implemented. “Results of a poll are binding and require a simple majority for or against the final proposal to determine the outcome,’’ Ms Preston adds. If more than 50 percent across the region vote for the proposal then the new Hawke’s Bay Council that will be elected in October 2016 will see the Hawke’s Bay Council replace the Napier City, Wairoa District, Hastings District, Central Hawke’s Bay District, and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils. The council would be a unitary authority, responsible for both regional council and territorial authority functions, with its decision-making responsibilities shared between a governing body and five local boards. Responsible for “big picture, region-wide” strategic decisions, including decisions on policies, networks, infrastructure and rates, the council governing body will consist of a mayor elected by voters across

the region and 18 councillors elected by voters in five wards with the same boundaries as the local board areas. The region will be divided into five local board areas – Wairoa, Ngaruroro, Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay – to provide a “strong community voice” in local affairs. “Broadly, the local boards will be responsible and democratically accountable for identifying and responding to local interests and preferences in agreement with the governing body,” the proposal says. In practice, local boards will: • be responsible for governing local amenities such as parks, libraries, swimming pools and town centres • make decisions on local business initiatives, events and activities within budgets agreed with the governing body • and may also have delegated responsibility for local regulatory matters such as parking and road signage. Each local board will consist of six to nine members elected by voters in subdivisions of the local board area, to ensure all communities are well represented, and will also have two councillors appointed by the governing body as members. “In addition to headquarters in Napier, there will be permanent council area offices in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings and Waipawa, and a service centre in Waipukurau for at least five years,” the Local Government Commission proposal concludes.

new zealand council for infrastructure development Advancing best practice in the development of world class infrastructure for the benefit of all New Zealanders. June/July 2015



Poor road lighting putting drivers at risk

Driving at night in New Zealand is almost three times more dangerous than other developed countries and poor road lighting is a significant factor a lighting industry expert says


ew Zealand highways are lit to only three quarters of the levels enjoyed in the UK, Europe and the US, notes Strategic Lighting Partners Ltd Managing Director Godfrey Bridger. “And our residential streets are lit to as little as a quarter of the lighting levels in other developed countries,” he adds. “It should come as no surprise that the risk of death and injury from driving at night in New Zealand is 5.8 times the risk from driving during daylight hours, whereas amalgamated international statistics show night-time driving carries only twice the risk of daytime driving in other countries.” He says three years ago New Zealand researchers Mike Jackett and Bill Frith of Opus International Consultants discovered that for every 0.5 candela per square metre increase in lighting levels on the roading “midblock” between intersections the injury crash rate fell by 33 percent. “Furthermore, findings from new international research indicate that white LED road lighting can provide better, safer driving vision than the yellow lighting emitted by the high-pressure sodium lights currently used in New Zealand.” Strategic Lighting Partners (SLP) has been gathering international research on lighting and road safety for several years, and its evidence shows that with better road lighting New Zealand could reduce its night-time road fatalities and injuries by more than 10 percent. This in turn would save about 20 lives and about 500 other road users from injury each year, while substantially reducing the estimated $1.2 billion annual cost to the country of nighttime road deaths and injuries. “Transport and motor vehicle accidents are the main cause of teenage death worldwide, the

Strategic Lighting Partners Ltd Managing Director Godfrey Bridger: “Research indicates white LED road lighting can provide better, safer driving vision than the yellow lighting emitted by the high-pressure sodium lights currently used in New Zealand” third leading cause of loss of life in the US overall and the fifth leading cause of death in New Zealand overall,” Mr Bridger notes. The social cost of road crashes in New Zealand was estimated in 2007 to be $3.8 billion and with 40 percent of crashes occurring at night this suggests that night crashes cost NZ $1.2 billion. “Factoring in savings from greater energy efficiency and reduced maintenance requirements, we estimate a $700 million New Zealand-wide upgrade to modern road lighting would return a benefit-cost ratio substantially better than the 2.5 benefit-cost ratio for our Roads of National Significance that are costing $9.7 billion,” Mr Bridger says. There’s an enormous saving in human suffering and misery which isn’t captured in these statistics, he notes. “And when you consider the opportunities that a digital lighting infrastructure and new smart city technologies offer local government in terms of new community friendly services and sources of revenue, a national road lighting upgrade is a no-brainer.”

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Lighting lacking Road lighting is such a small proportion of the overall cost of building and maintaining the national road network that it tends to “fly under the radar” and suffers from little attention. For example, the Ministry of Transport’s excellent road safety strategy Safer Journeys makes no mention of road lighting despite going into detail on other important issues such as driving age, road markings, and alcohol. Mr Bridger admits New Zealand hasn’t been alone in overlooking the benefits of upgrading its national road lighting network as road safety policymakers worldwide are overlooking the importance of road lighting to road safety. “We could find no evidence of a systematic strategic asset management approach which incorporates quantifiable safety performance to road lighting worldwide, apart from Canada and Washington State in the northwest US.” Three years ago Mr Bridger wrote a report on the issue with fellow SLP director Bryan King entitled Lighting the Way to Road Safety – A policy blind-

spot? that was developed from a longer, broader-based report for the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) entitled Strategic Road Lighting Opportunities for New Zealand. “Our report was intended to alert transport authorities worldwide, but especially in New Zealand, to the need for greater focus on road lighting to save lives, save energy, improve security, reduce negative environmental impacts, and save money overall.” He believes their work is finally starting to pay off after the consultancy ran two international conferences in Auckland over the past two years, featuring international experts on lighting, energy efficiency and road safety. “NZTA recently introduced changes designed to encourage road controlling authorities in New Zealand to introduce modern LED road lighting, although the change was motivated more by efficiency considerations than safety.” Leading international researcher on road lighting and Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Based Safety Systems at Virginia Tech Transportation June/July 2015

Institute Dr Ron Gibbons says research on 23,000 road crashes in the US correlates the crash rate with road lighting intensity, confirming the research by Jackett and Frith in New Zealand. Measurements at intersections show there is a clear statistical link between the level of light delivered and the crash rate – traffic safety increases with every increase in road lighting levels up to five lux, at which point the safety benefits taper off. “We gather 90 percent of our information visually – we are not evolved for night driving,” Dr Gibbons insists. “Minor arterial roads have among the most dangers of any road, including intersections, driveways and pedestrian traffic, and would most benefit from a higher level of lighting.” Other international findings collated in the internationally-acclaimed Handbook of Road Safety Measures edited by Norwegian road safety expert Professor Rune Elvik demonstrate lighting provides the very highest safety improvement on rural roads, cutting fatal accidents by up to 87 percent and enjoying one of the highest benefit-to-cost ratios available in road safety measures. Colour crucial The colour and quality of the light is also critical to road safety, with recent research by Dr Gibbons and Nancy Clanton of US-based consultants Clanton & Associates showing there is a clear correlation between visibility, stopping distance and light colour. White light of about 4,000 Kelvin – the colour of moonlight – provides the greatest visibility, indicating the possibility of an evolutionary factor at work. By comparison the yellow light provided by high pressure sodium (HPS) provides poor visibility. Research results show that 146W LED white lights (4,000K) dimmed to 25 percent provide the same stopping distance on wet roads as full intensity 250W HPS yellow light provides on June/July 2015

dry roads. This supports findings by the late Dr Ian Lewin in the US more than 12 years ago – before white LED lighting was available – that driver reaction time is slower under yellow HPS lighting than under old technology white lighting such as Mercury Vapour and Metal Halide lighting. Mr Bridger says it was Dr Lewin’s research that inspired Melbourne to switch to white road lighting some years ago, starting a journey that has attracted residents back to the central city, bolstering its visitor numbers and night economy. “White light not only improves traffic safety, but the improved visibility it affords has also dropped street crime rates in cities like Los Angeles.” While there are concerns that white light can interfere with astronomy and may have an impact on biological circadian rhythms, these factors can be managed through digital control systems to dim or switch lighting off when it’s not needed, he believes. “The controlled, directional nature of LED lighting also effectively reduces light spill and light pollution,” Mr Bridger adds, noting these are issues of particular concern for communities served by “minor” residential roads. Nevertheless, there are other researchers who see danger in these presumptions about road lighting and road safety because they believe it means the relationship simply hasn’t been explored properly. The Director of Enterprise Risk and Safety Management for the Washington State Department of Transportation in the United States, Dr John Milton, says much of our road lighting technology is now 40-years old and so is our understanding of lighting and “road crash potential”. “Standards-based application of lighting design is slowing the evolution of lighting to optimise road safety, and in the interests of road safety that needs to change,” he maintains. “In Washington

Risk of fatal injury crashes (Source: Ministry of Transport October 2011)

Comparison of NZ Standards for lighting levels with that of Europe and US (Source: SLP) State we are shifting from standards-driven application to a performance-based decision-making process.” Dr Milton says the challenge today is to optimise spending on road safety techniques such as road lighting, and to apply its use where it will have the most benefit. Washington State is using statistical analysis to target the application of digital LED lighting and control technologies at locations that have a higher than expected number of crashes, and consider the removal or reduction of lighting at locations on its 11,200-kilometre highway system that are unable to demonstrate sufficient benefit. Dr Milton says while well-designed road lighting can reduce road crashes, poorly-designed road lighting may increase accidents – for example by causing reflective glare that makes road

markings invisible in wet weather conditions. Location of lighting is also important. “Lighting is likely to be of greater benefit on roads where there are lots of intersections and road access points, such as driveways, and to be of less benefit on stretches of double-lane highways without intersections,” Dr Milton insists. He says Washington State Department of Transportation has ramped up its research on road lighting in the past three to four years since the advent of new technology LED lighting and control systems. “The energy, cost-efficiency, flexibility and greater visibility that LED affords make this a very beneficial technology,” says Dr Milton, “but we haven’t yet researched and developed the performance standards by which we can optimise the use of this new technology.” – 35

COMMENT >> Management

All roads lead to Rome Caroline Boot Managing Partner, Plan A New EU procurement rules have seen reforms become a key focus in Australia, the UK, World Bank and Asia Development Bank projects, the US and the Asia-Pacific region


review of the past year’s reforms lead to the startling realisation that New Zealand practices are at the forefront of the race towards excellence in procurement. There are several main trends: Cost-efficient

There’s widespread recognition that complex and time-consuming supplier selection processes not only alienate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) but can also add unnecessary cost to purchases. In the US, there’s a realisation that complex rules, processes and requirements have been hindering new vendors from entering the government market – the system favours legacy companies who have experience in navigating procurement. International focus is on making procurement simpler so that SME businesses can afford to respond. That’s even more important for the New Zealand economy, where 80 percent of companies are classed as SMEs and there is a strong culture of entrepreneurship – maverick companies are often the ones who break the mould to provide step-up, value-for-money outcomes. How do we therefore encourage our SME companies to tender? 1. Simplify tendering processes: eliminate unsuitable suppliers as early as possible in the procurement process (by preconditions, prequalification processes, supplier panels, EOIs, etc.) 2. Target the evaluation tools to focus only on what’s needed to differentiate the outstanding suppliers from the merely average – the smaller that list of differentiating factors the sharper your evaluation tools. 3. Create a balance of opportunities for small, medium and large businesses to participate, especially in government contracts. That’s the key to creating healthy competition in the future, by providing growth pathways for SMEs to develop their track record, management systems and internal capabilities. 4. Beware of procurement methods that are heavily focused on cheapest price. 36

To avoid false economies, supplier selection decisions should be based on maximising whole-of-life benefits. They should seriously consider the social and environmental risks and benefits presented in suppliers’ solutions, as well as risks and timing issues over the life cycle of the project as well as the resulting asset. Fit-for-purpose A primary focus of EU procurement reform has been to move from standardised selection processes to smarter, tighter, more streamlined decision-making tools. Standardised RFx documents are blunt instruments, used by the lazy or the uninformed to create a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to supplier selection. They waste both suppliers’ and evaluators’ time in responding to and evaluating generic questions, which are not focused on optimising value for money. Today’s emerging selection tools are tailored to the key aspects of achieving best value for money. They’re focused on just two things: how well will this supplier mitigate the project’s risks and what opportunities do they offer to add value? With unsuitable suppliers already weeded out of the mix, the procurement process is then tailored to deliver the best value for money for the job. Transparency and consistency Another interesting global trend which has also been seen in New Zealand is an emerging appetite and courage in the supplier community to challenge procurement decisions that appear to be unfair. In the US, it is reported that ‘in recent years, the percentage of successful bid protests (that is, those in which the protest was sustained or the Federal Procurement Agency took voluntary corrective action) has climbed from 33 percent in 2001 to 42 percent in 2011. Governments throughout the Western world are putting in place stronger control processes to manage conflicts of interest; making selection weightings and criteria clear to suppliers so they know what to focus on; and curtailing practices whereby clients leave themselves open to changing weightings or criteria after tender submis-

sions are received. New Zealand has seen several landmark cases involving procurement protests in the past few years, reinforcing the need for clients to train their procurement staff well and review their procurement processes. The third edition of the government’s Rules of Sourcing made a significant change to require agencies covered by the rules to publish weightings applied to selections where they are being used. The rewarding result of this review has been to see that the tools and practices that are being implemented in New Zealand are at least as good as those that are emerging elsewhere in the world. We are fortunate to have a relatively small and well-coordinated government procurement environment which is moving fast to not only adopt principles of best practice procurement but is also starting to put in place the tools that join theory to practice. With the right training in place, combined with intelligent processes and tools as support, our procurement professionals can deliver extraordinary savings, both in the efficiency of selecting suppliers and in the long-term value for money that’s achieved. The Clever Buying™ team has been working with a number of councils and government organisations to streamline procurement and put in place tailored, effective processes for supplier selection. Our Clever Buying™ two-day training course is now well established as the leading workshop for procurement practitioners, aimed at introducing a toolbox of effective procurement practices that can be applied to their workplaces immediately after the course. In some cases, these tools have led to savings in procurement of many hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few months. Caroline Boot is the Managing Partner of Plan A Tender Specialists and Clever Buying For more information, or (+64) 9 410 4162. June/July 2015

COMMENT >> Management

Target interventions for a safer workplace Moira Howson PeopleCentric Generic safety programmes aren’t the most effective way of improving safety because they lack a research base and employee involvement says Moira Howson


ell-considered research and organisational assessment is necessary to illuminate the important issues and areas on which to focus. Stakeholder engagement is essential to enhance intervention quality and commitment. Case studies show that targeted, tailor-made training interventions lead to improved safety performance for organisations. Moreover, targeted interventions not only improve safety but generally have positive spin-offs for other areas of an organisation. A safety assessment is the first stage to designing a targeted safety intervention. The reasons for incidents in the workplace are a complex interplay of factors that may include individual or team processes, resource availability and management priorities. Although safety assessment needs to take account of the physical environment, risks and hazards, policies and procedures, the commonality between these factors is human – the willingness and ability of employees to behave safely. One way to assess the human factors that impact on safety is the Individual Safety Attributes Test (ISAT), which measures the leading characteristics of safety behaviour – diligence and conscientiousness, ability to cope with work pressure, personal responsibility for self and others’ safety, communicating safety information openly and constructively and confidence in delivery of safety information. June/July 2015

Several case studies illustrate how ISAT assessments allowed organisations to identify and target interventions at the actual problems to deliver improvements in safety performance. An Australian energy utility company with over 2,000 employees or contractors working regionally had a high incident rate among linesmen, and the organisation wanted a “quick fix” generic training programme to teach people how to operate safely. More than 200 employees sat the ISAT pre- and post-training to gain a snapshot of existing awareness of safety behaviour and gauge the effectiveness of the training programme. Pre-intervention testing found that less than half the employees performed at a likely competence or above on resisting social pressure in order to perform safely, providing timely solutions to problems, weighing rule compliance over personal relations and widely disseminating safety information. However, what was astonishing was that the ISAT results were similar after the generic training programme, indicating that the intervention did little to bring about changes in safety behaviour or sustained change. Team focus Yet when the ISAT results were analysed in detail the team results showed a strong correlation with team safety performance. On the basis of the ISAT results alone the organisation was able to identify the teams most at risk of incidents and the

associated safety behaviour, and subsequently focus on the challenges and issues for the team. The use of leadership and team coaching focused on specific issues can also lead to significant reductions in lost-time injury severity and frequency. A mining operation employing over 400 people wanted to implement a culture where health and safety was paramount and characterised by a culture whereby employees made responsible decisions for themselves and could get the job done without being bogged down with paperwork and policies. The ISAT assessment conducted on all employees identified the supervisors as having specific development needs around adhering to guidelines, the need to place safety over performance demands, providing timely suggestions and the wide dissemination of safety information. Individual coaching provided supervisors with training on effective leadership styles and open consultative communication and feedback. Team training was designed around workshop sessions, action programmes, ongoing accountability and specific employee-led safety initiatives presented back to management. This approach, characterised by all levels of a team working together on a shared basis, proved invaluable in bringing about a new approach to safety. The net result was not only great improvement in lost-time

injury rates but also a basis for improved teamwork and communications across the organisation. Locally, PeopleCentric has worked with an electricity network provider to identify a range of individual and team development needs to improve safety behaviour. The ISAT was completed by a group within the organisation following switching incidents which could have had very serious consequences. The results identified a disjunction between how field staff and office controllers viewed safety behaviour. There was a clear need for one of the groups to have more targeted development and for the entire group to have training around engaging in safety discussions and sharing information. As a result the entire team had individual development planning sessions and a customised training series on communication styles, how to assert themselves positively, how to provide feedback and how to remain focused on the job at hand in the face of other performance demands and distractions. Improved skills in communication, feedback and focus are likely to be employed outside safety situations and to the benefit of the organisation overall. Targeted interventions clearly have greater impact on safety performance than generic offerings. The requirement is to understand the problem before implementing any type of broad-ranging solution, as it may be that a more narrowly focused, and potentially more cost-effective approach, will lead to better outcomes. Moira Howson is a Senior Consultant at PeopleCentric, industrial and organisational psychologists who work with a variety of organisations to maximise employee potential and promote the value of psychology in driving business performance 37

LAST WORD >> Regional development

Evans Young Director Hopper Developments

Oh, how the mighty have fallen

Recent weeks have seen a welter of disturbing reports concerning New Zealand’s largest city and its woes We have, for example, read of: • central government challenging Auckland Council’s reluctance to approve requests for Special Housing Area designations (SHAs) on greenfield sites in West Auckland • the Auditor General criticising Auckland Council’s regulatory department as being slow and overly expensive compared to comparable service providers around New Zealand • the Reserve Bank introducing 70 percent LVRs for investors in the Auckland City residential property market • Councillor Mike Lee claiming that the Auckland commuter train service was costing the public purse a 78 percent subsidy (equal to $9.40 per passenger trip) compared to Wellington’s 50 percent ($3.68 per passenger trip) • John Key questioning Auckland’s fascination with CBD-centred rail at the expense of growth-related essential infrastructure • and Auckland Transport’s introduction of its public transportation HOT Card with fare increases and a cash handling penalty for non-users. Without even looking to the usual easy beats like rate increases, Ports of Auckland, housing affordability, housing availability, transportation surcharges, motorway congestion, compulsory iwi cultural impact assessments or new council chambers, it’s obvious to an outsider that Mayor Brown and his council are floundering around trying to find something of a good news story they can sell to the public, and soon. Questions and answers One question is “What could divert the public’s attention sufficiently to displace these issues?” Answer – nothing. The public in Auckland have become so disenchanted with their politicians they automatically assume the worst with every utterance that emits from council central. The only ray of light is the promise of elections, 38

although they’re still 18 months away … So what can be done to improve the lot for those who regard Auckland as the “World’s Most Liveable City”? A start would be to examine what is driving the growth in Auckland, and why. Anecdotally, we hear stories of investors, immigrants and returning expats driving up prices, but no-one can explain the root cause of this phenomenon except for the rather bland “supply shortage” excuse. So why is there a shortage? Firstly there has been the artificial constraint of the ARC-imposed urban limit that strangled growth for years; then there’s the lack of investment into providing essential basic services (read water and sewage) into

“Do major corporations or consultancies actually need to locate/establish in Auckland?” those areas that were zoned for growth. Once these take effect scarcity (price) comes into play and we have a self-fulfilling prophesy occurring. Wouldn’t it be logical to look to minimise the effects of external drivers and address some of those that are easily identified as ‘habit’ as opposed to ‘need’? For example – do major corporations or consultancies actually need to locate/establish in Auckland? Take Fonterra, NZ’s largest and second only to Nestle as a dairy product producer. Why is its head office in Auckland when its suppliers and processing facilities are all concentrated in the provinces? What does Auckland offer that can’t be found in Hamilton, New Plymouth or Palmerston North? If access to political power is an imperative, then surely Wellington would be a more logical locale? Is it a case of executives responding to a need to prove themselves as successful by locating themselves in the country’s biggest cosmopolitan community and strut-

ting their stuff in front of their contemporaries? In some respects I’m reminded of an episode of ‘Yes Minister’ from the mid-1980s, when Minister Hacker devised a plan to revitalise the provinces by relocating the various defence departments’ command-andprovisioning functions away from the south of England (London), out to the northern counties where most of the armed forces were stationed, and where the majority of recruits came from. The fallout was immediate, spurious arguments supporting the status quo advanced and rebuffed, but in the end the inevitable defeat of Hacker came about because the loss to London through relocation of ‘Educated, Refined People Like Us’ was untenable. Officers’ partners wouldn’t be able to shop, support the arts and theatre, meet with other professionals’ partners. It was considered the thin end of the wedge. Would all professional classes be expected to station themselves where their clientele were found? I’m not suggesting that head offices should move out of Auckland en masse, but I do believe that if some did the benefits to the workforce, in quality of work/life balance, quality and availability of essential infrastructure (housing, health, schooling etc.), time and money spent in commuting and savings in basic cost of living would all lead to cheaper administration overheads and a healthier bottom line, as well as a revitalised provincial social environment. Similarly, offshore applicants for access to permanent residency in this country through the government’ investor scheme could gain extra points if they invested outside of metropolitan Auckland, in recognition of the value outside investment into the provinces would generate, needs further discussion. The idea was originally floated by Winston Peters and Labour’s finance spokesperson Grant Robinson recently supported such June/July 2015

The loss to London through relocation of ‘Educated, Refined People Like Us’ is untenable

an approach on TV1’s Q+A programme, so there finally appears to be cross-party recognition that foreign investment can be beneficial, especially if channelled out of the major centres. None of these initiatives in themselves

will solve the ills besetting our largest city, but looking to some of the indirect causes can make us more aware of how we all individually need to change our basic mindset if we are going to find a permanent solution to a rapidly growing problem.

Evans Young is Business Development Director for Hopper Developments and INFRA>SOL Tel: 09 427 0015 Email:



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