Coun­cil may seek com­pen­sa­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO AND DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

With the $1.3 mil­lion CBD pro­ject nearly five months be­hind sched­ule and still not fin­ished, Porirua City Coun­cil is likely to seek com­pen­sa­tion from con­trac­tor Hawkins.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Wendy Walker said last week she was seek­ing an ur­gent meet­ing with Hawkins to dis­cuss the de­lay.

The work for the new space, which will have a kiosk and pub­lic toi­let, new paving and green ar­eas, was meant to fin­ish last Oc­to­ber.

An ex­ten­sion was granted un­til mid-De­cem­ber, but the pro­ject is still un­fin­ished.

‘‘We are very un­happy be­cause it’s a sig­nif­i­cant over­run and I’ve asked to meet with them as soon as pos­si­ble,’’ Walker said.

‘‘We’ve gone past both dead­lines for some­thing we re­ally wanted to have com­pleted by Christ­mas.’’

She said there was a de­lay in de­liv­er­ing pavers, and a mi­nor is­sue with the kiosk be­ing built. How­ever, she wants to know why the work is so far be­hind sched­ule con­sid­er­ing how good the weather has been.

Walker said work on the area, dubbed ‘‘the vil­lage green’’, was very close to be­ing fin­ished, but the de­lays had led to an ero­sion in pub­lic con­fi­dence about the pro­ject.

She would not spec­u­late how much com­pen­sa­tion would be sought.

Kapi-Mana News un­der­stands mayor Nick Leggett and city coun­cil­lors feel the over­run is a bad look for the first ma­jor piece of city cen­tre revitalisation work.

One of them said the late­ness of the pro­ject was ‘‘ap­palling’’ and that al­though de­lays in build­ing projects were ex­pected, Hawkins’ ef­forts were un­ac­cept­able.

Sean Dowl­ing, Welling­ton re­gional man­ager of Hawkins In­fra­struc­ture, would not com­ment on the de­lay and said all me­dia li­ai­son had to go through the coun­cil.

Com­ments on the Porirua Face­book page about the upgrade have been gen­er­ally neg­a­tive.

Nordz Hosk­ing said, ‘‘For $1.3m it doesn’t look like it caters for much’’, and Denise Lardelli said, ‘‘So this is why we pay rates – to get an un­nec­es­sary bit of green grass and less car park­ing’’.

How­ever, Robyn Harding said peo­ple should give it a go and it was bound to be ‘‘an im­prove­ment on the grubby, chew­ing gum­lit­tered cen­tre we had pre­vi­ously’’.

The de­mo­li­tion of the i-Site, in March or April, is the next CBD pro­ject.

PHOTO: DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

Work is fi­nally near­ing com­plet­ing on Porirua’s con­tro­ver­sial city cen­tre upgrade.

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