In 2016 The area around the Point Chevalier Library was landscaped. I was astounded to hear that the Council had paid over $818,000 for this small job of planting, paving and installation of a couple of benches. I wrote to council and was provided with the following document from Auckland Council.
19 May 2016 Mr. Martin Fraser Sent via email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Dear Mr Fraser Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 Re: Pt Chevalier library landscaping project I refer to your email, which we received on 6 May 2016, requesting information regarding the Pt Chevalier library area landscaping project. Our response to your questions is below: 1. What price Bespoke Architects tendered to get the Point Chevalier Job and how many other companies tendered ? This was tendered as a design and build contract. HEB Construction's tender was selected, cased on a design and build fee of $700,000, which included Bespoke's fee as part of their team and overall fee. 2. How many construction companies tendered on this job? This was a publically notified open tender and 3 tenders were submitted for this project. 3. What components made up the total cost of$818,000. E.g lawyers, consultants, fact finding missions etc? The breakdown of the total project cost is as follows:
Design and construction $700,000
Construction contingency $59,000
Parking study $4,000
Adshell bus stop relocation $10,000
Auckland Transport Engineer to Contract administration $45,000
4. Which Council official signs off on these contracts when they are awarded ? This tender was approved by Warren Ure, Manager Sourcing, Procurement, Auckland Council and John Dunshea, Manager City Transformation, Chief Planning Office, Auckland Council. Both John and Warren are the signatories of the Supplier Recommendation Report. Official Information Request No. 9000142472 (Please quote this in any correspondence) Private Bag 92300, Auckland 1142 | aucklandcouncil.govt.nz | Ph 09 301 0101
I trust the information provided will satisfy your requirements, however should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Council on (09) 301 0101 or email email@example.com. Should you believe Auckland Council has not responded appropriately to your request, you have the right by way of complaint, under section 27(3) of the LGOIMA, to apply to the Ombudsmen to seek an investigation and review of the decision. Yours sincerely Isis van Geenen Privacy and LGOIMA Business Partner Auckland Council Private Bag 92300, Auckland 1142 | aucklandcouncil.govt.nz | Ph 09 301 0101 9000142472
(cont'd) The real shocker was the $45,000 for the Auckland City Transport Engineer to "administer" this very small project. I spoke to 2 private contractors who were also astounded, guessing the price of the whole job as about $200,000 at the very most.
This is an example of what is holding New Zealand back. The problem is not just in Auckland. The Margaret Mahy playground in Christchurch (A Christchurch City Council project) cost $20 million and toilet blocks at tourist locations routinely cost $500,000 each including "design".
City Managers are creating army's of officials, planners, and spin doctors, un-accountable to ratepayers. The ballooning staff numbers are paid with ever increasing fees (see above document).
The recent government decision to allow building of 30sq m or less be built without consent is a really good first step in releasing the handbrake that councils have on the energy and creativity of people just trying to house their families and make a living. We need more of the same.