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.