City’s $2.6m cen­tre crit­i­cised


Porirua City’s $2.6 mil­lion emer­gency cen­tre project was plagued with cost over­runs, bad man­age­ment and even 500 cu­bic me­tres of miss­ing dirt, ac­cord­ing to an in­de­pen­dent re­view.

The find­ings, by Spire Con­sult­ing, are in­cluded in a re­port to the coun­cil ta­ble, which ap­proved the about $1.5m pur­chase of the new build­ing in 2016 af­ter be­ing given an ini­tial es­ti­mate of $350,000 for im­prove­ments. The re­port says the fi­nal cost was about $1m.

The project was poorly scoped, planned and man­aged, the ini­tial bud­get was un­re­al­is­tic and bet­ter plan­ning could have saved the coun­cil money, the re­view said.

Coun­cil spokesman Jerry Wrenn said the find­ings would be re­viewed and changes made to sys­tems, pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures as re­quired.

‘‘In ad­di­tion a tar­geted train­ing pro­gramme will be run to en­sure staff are aware of and use the tools avail­able to man­age projects ef­fec­tively.’’

With their old emer­gency cen­tre lo­cated on a fault line and in a tsunami zone, the coun­cil bought the Raiha St prop­erty soon af­ter the Kaik­oura earth­quake as part of its civil de­fence obli­ga­tions.

The orig­i­nal fit-out es­ti­mate was amended three times for the build, which in­cluded $124,000 for flood mit­i­ga­tion work. Un­der­pric­ing of spe­cial­ist equip­ment and en­gi­neer­ing fees was also blamed for the blowout.

Mean­while there was con­fu­sion over the re­moval of 900 cu­bic me­tres of dirt from the site push­ing up the cost by $171,000.

En­gi­neer­ing plans al­lowed for the re­moval of 400 cu­bic me­tres with a bud­get of $124,000, the re­port to coun­cil­lors said.

‘‘Coun­cil is cur­rently in the process of de­ter­min­ing how this dis­par­ity came about and whether any of these monies are re­cov­er­able from the afore­men­tioned con­tracts.’’

Mayor Mike Tana said there were good rea­sons for the ex­tra spend and he be­lieved the city had got a good end re­sult.

‘‘At the end of the day I don’t think the cost is lost be­cause we have a good emer­gency cen­tre but I do think we could have done bet­ter.’’

The coun­cil couldn’t have walked away from the build­ing when it re­alised more work was needed, he said.

Over $1mil­lion worth of im­prove­ments were car­ried out.

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