Release of rapid mobilisation models advice welcomed

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga welcomes the Construction Sector Accord’s release of recommendations for rapid mobilisation models for the construction sector to support New Zealand’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Aimed at local and central government agencies, the advice provides a range of potential delivery models in both the horizontal and vertical construction sectors, and suggestions for matching models with project complexity and agency capability. It includes analysis on what works well and what doesn’t in specific situations, and encompasses ways to streamline processes including procurement, consenting, governance, and funding approvals.

“This paper has had valuable industry input, and Te Waihanga is proud to have supported and facilitated the production of this rapid response paper alongside the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment,” says Te Waihanga Chair Dr Alan Bollard. 

“There are many lessons we can learn from existing models that have been used successfully in the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquake recoveries. The existing procurement rules have the flexibility to allow rapid mobilisation, but it’s important that organisations are outcomes focussed rather than treating this as a box ticking exercise. The models come with an additional level of risk that will be a big mind shift for many.” 

Dr Bollard says it’s important that organisations can get on with projects if they have the capability. “To get projects moving quickly it makes sense to use standard form contracts where possible and keep the lawyers’ input to a minimum. 

“Traditional fixed priced tenders are unlikely to meet our rapid procurement needs. We are going to need to transfer less risk and select contractors based more on capability and capacity to meet wider outcomes, rather than the lowest price.” 

Te Waihanga currently provides procurement support and advice to more than a dozen large projects valued at over $50 million. It assists organisations to see infrastructure projects through to a quality outcome in the quickest time possible. Organisations managing infrastructure projects are encouraged to get in touch if they need help. 

The Accord’s advice document is now on the Construction Sector Accord website(external link).