Model set for roads
Other councils are coming to observe the Tararua Alliance model and top technical expertise is signing on to be part of it.
That is the message which was delivered to the over 30 members of the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce at its After Five meeting on Wednesday evening May 23 at Ôringi.
Tararua Alliance Manager Chris Chapman spoke to the group .
Most of the Alliance Management Team was on hand to help with the presentation.
The Tararua Alliance began on October 1 2014 and is a partnership between Tararua District Council (TDC) and Downer NZ Ltd. It aims to lead through collaboration and create value for many through a single delivery team.
Chris outlined the challenge for the Alliance — maintenance of the fourth largest road network of any district (1958km), 40 per cent unsealed, 92.6km of sewerage pipes, 971 fire hydrants and many other essential services — with one of the lowest number of ratepayers.
It was essential to form a single delivery team combining client, network manager and contractor functions to make the most effective use of the limited ratepayer funding.
He said the Alliance team was focused on making the best for asset and best for community long-term decisions, rather than putting time and effort into debating contractual standards as some traditional service delivery models do.
This is measured by a comprehensive financial mechanism and performance framework, developed specifically for Tararua, to ensure the best decisions are made using the most efficient methods, and monitored so that each operation is assessed and transparent.
A recent investment audit from the NZ Transport Agency found the Alliance model was very effective, and the agency was impressed by the level of financial transparency, according to Ray Cannon, Tararua Alliance Performance Manager.
Planning Manager Rob Sharp said the decisions his team had to make weighed up the three types of service available — good, cheap and fast — as you can typically have only two of those options.
Often his team used riskbased decision making to optimise the three for specific projects.
“All the time risk has to be assessed and managed,” he said.
Rob said the capacity to make decisions involving a single team delivery system was why he came to work for the Tararua Alliance.
This was reiterated by Ray Cannon who said other top people had joined the Alliance for this reason.
Chris and his team outlined some of the recent developments and challenges the Alliance has managed in the last year.
* Multiple severe weather events
*Improving confidence in * Council’s asset information, especially sewerage pipes — the “poor cousin”
* Establishing a local road surfacing unit
* Rolling out LED street lighting across the district, funded mainly by central government.
The audience of local business people asked questions throughout the meeting, a major focus being on the Saddle Road. Ray Cannon said that, since the indefinite closure of the Manawatu¯ Gorge, management and maintenance of the route was the responsibility of NZTA, although it will return to Council. The last section of the upgrade project, still managed by TDC, is planned to be complete this summer.
Other councils have also come to see how the Tararua Alliance works, from Hamilton, Horowhenua and Wairarapa. Some have then gone home ready to implement all or part of the model — a great accolade from associates managing council infrastructure, according to Chris.
“The more people understand the model, the better equipped they are to make an informed decision.
“This applies both to other Councils and to Tararua District ratepayers,” he said.
“We know there are areas for improvement, and we have the model, people and drive to advance service delivery and increase confidence.”
MEMBERS of the Tararua Alliance team with Mayor Tracey Collis. From Left: Ray Cannon, Buster Sandford, Chris Chapman, Mayor Tracey Collis, Katrina Morgans and Rob Sharp
BENEFITS of the Single Delivery Team.
CONSIDERATIONS in deciding a contract.
THE three sectors of the Single Delivery Team — Planning, Delivery, Performance.