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Procurement during COVID-19

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has a heavy reliance on external suppliers and their supply chains, and many of our requirements and suppliers have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

We've put together some considerations and guidance to assist our staff (available on our intranet) and consultants who undertake procurement on our behalf; we thought Approved Organisations and suppliers might like to understand our thinking regarding planning, sourcing and managing our procurement activities and contracts.

COVID-19 Information for Approved Organisations in relation to funding.

Contact the Procurement team at with any questions or comments.

Key messages

  • Waka Kotahi must not instruct nor encourage a supplier to do anything that contradicts Alert Level restrictions.
  • Where work can safely proceed or commence, in compliance with Alert Level restrictions, it should. We want to keep moving forward and to provide meaningful work for businesses.
  • We continue to keep records of decisions and communications involving contracts and suppliers.
  • Business rule delegations and internal policies continue to apply.
  • To support our suppliers, we should endeavour to process and approve supplier invoices as quickly as possible. Government expects payment to occur within 10 days of invoice receipt.

Key procurement considerations through Alert Levels

Considerations for planning, sourcing and managing contracts while Alert Levels are in place. [PDF, 170 KB]

Questions and answers

Essential services – what work can continue outside of homes?

Essential services information is also available on the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website. There is more information about the building industry available here and for transport on the Ministry of Transport website.

COVID-19 Transport information on MoT website(external link)

COVID-19 Building and construction sector guidance(external link)

Essential business information on MBIE website(external link)

Not all of our suppliers are considered to be essential services so there could be delays in delivery and we need to work with suppliers to solve problems. As we move through different Alert Levels we need to keep up to date with any changes to definitions of essential services by regularly checking the sources linked above.

I need to initiate a new procurement activity and award new contracts. Given the current crisis should I still proceed?​

It depends on the circumstances. The table above includes some considerations for the plan, source and manage stages of procurement. If the work can safely proceed or commence, in compliance with Alert Level restrictions, it should. We want to keep moving forward and to providing meaningful work for businesses, provide a stimulus for the economy and keep New Zealanders employed.​

​What is going to happen once the restrictions ease? ​

A great deal will depend on the Government's assessment of the situation and the restrictions imposed at the various Alert Levels; however, Waka Kotahi is working on various scenarios for differing Alert Levels.

This includes readying projects for early release, thinking about how best to achieve economic stimulus and recommencing those programmes/projects that have been paused.

In terms of existing contracts much will depend on the status of your supplier/s and their ability to return to normal business – note that Waka Kotahi may be one of many clients that your supplier works with, so any conversation now about the future state should help inform your understanding of what will happen when restrictions are lifted.​

The Accord Steering Group (from Construction Sector Accord) has been asked by Government to act as an adviser to ministers on how the industry can best be supported and confidence maintained during and after the COVID-19 disruption. The group is focused on ensuring that the full supply chain is ready to quickly restart on an accelerated work programme once restrictions are lifted. You can read the full COVID-19: Response plan for the construction sector.

Accord Steering Group(external link)

COVID-19: Response plan for the construction sector(external link)