Upgrades for water treatment
Upgrades to two West Coast water treatment plants are back on track following the termination of a contract with a cake decorator’s firm.
The Westland District Council has awarded the contract for the Whataroa and Kumara water treatment plant projects to its next preferred tender, Southwater Ltd – a South Island dredging and water treatment company.
The council’s previous $405,000 contract with Techno Economic Services NZ Ltd (TES), a new business with no track record in water management, was to upgrade both water treatment plants by August.
In July, the council said the contract with TES had been stopped with the ‘‘mutual agreement of the parties’’.
The move to terminate the deal followed internal investigations at the council.
The contract was reviewed in March to confirm the correct tender process had been followed after it was revealed TES NZ’s director, Neha Bubna, was an Aucklandbased cake decorator with no experience in water management.
The council had been in contact with the Ministry of Health and was waiting to find out if it would get a subsidy for the Kumara water treatment plant project, a spokeswoman said.
The $242,641 subsidy was suspended earlier this year until the contract could be re-awarded.
Work would be done on both water treatment plants at the same time and was expected to take about 26 weeks. Once the Kumara water treatment plant was finished, the area’s water would return to a treated, unchlorinated supply, the spokeswoman said.