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New roading contract announced for Gisborne

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A new contract for managing the Gisborne roading network will foster continued improvement and innovative approaches, and devote additional resources to communities such as Ruatoria.

The NZ Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council have awarded the five year contract to SSE, an Australia-based company, which will begin on 1 October 2015. The contract has a performance-based option of a two year extension. 

The joint contract between the Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council will be managed by  Tairāwhiti Roads, which was established last year as a partnership between the two principals to manage the combined (local roads and state highways) Tairāwhiti roading network. 

Tairāwhiti Roads General Manager, Dave Hadfield and Transport Agency Regional Highway Manager, Chuck Dowdell say the re-tender for the maintenance of Tairāwhiti road network is part of a national programme of regular re-tendering of all road contracts. 

Mr Dowdell says all contracts come up for re-tender on a regular basis as part of ensuring value for money across the country, while also opening up opportunities for innovation on the road network. 

“We re-tender these long-term contracts on a regular basis to allow for innovation and ongoing improvements to how we operate. 

“Combining the local road and state highway work through Tairāwhiti Roads is a great opportunity to provide a better service at a competitive price.” 

He says tendering ultimately ensures strong performance incentives and competitive pricing, and will from time to time see the incumbent replaced with a competing tenderer, as has happened on this occasion. 

“We have a robust tender process, which considers a wide range of factors, such as quality and price. We also give a lot of weight to other factors, such as innovation and the contractors’ support of local industry. 

“The SSE proposal has sub-contracted a considerable portion of work to the local industry, which we expect to prove positive for the regional economy. They are focused on building the skill base in the district, and are increasing their presence in the number of depots in the Tairāwhiti area, including Tolaga Bay, Te Puia, Ruatoria and Hicks Bay. 

“This will help us to improve our response times and get roads open quickly when we need to”, Mr Dowdell says. 

Tairāwhiti Roads General Manager, David Hadfield says this contract is the first deliverable of Council’s 2015-2025 Long Term Plan. 

SSE will be sub-contracting a significant amount of work to local industry and it will be great to see the community supporting these teams. 

Mr Hadfield says SSE brings a high degree of innovation and expertise in health and safety legislation. 

‘SSE offers innovation through techniques and new equipment they have employed in Australia that have not previously been used in NZ.  In addition, SSE brings expertise in Australian Health and Safety legislation.  

‘New Zealand’s health and safety legislation has recently been strengthened to reflect Australian law, where they’ve seen a 16 percent reduction in work-related deaths since 2012, so their experience working under this legislation will bring benefits to our goal of getting everyone home safely,’ Mr Hadfield says. 

The NZ Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council have thanked Fulton Hogan for doing a great job in keeping Gisborne’s vital road links safe and available in extremely challenging terrain over many years. 

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