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The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) alliance model is one of the successful examples included in the Construction Sector Accord’s new guidance for organisations that wish to rapidly mobilise for construction projects

Accord releases new guidance for rapidly mobilising construction projects

The Construction Sector Accord has released new guidance for local and central government agencies on getting construction projects up and running quickly following the Covid-19 disruption.

One of the focus areas for the Accord’s Covid-19 Response Plan is to rapidly mobilise projects to support jobs and businesses in the sector, and boost New Zealand’s economic recovery. As part of this work, an Accord subgroup has identified and analysed several existing rapid mobilisation models for adoption by the sector, such as those used after the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. It outlines approaches already being taken by the NZ Transport Agency, the Ministry of Education, and within a group of Waikato councils.

From this, the Accord has produced an advice document for local and central government agencies that provides a range of potential delivery models in both the horizontal and vertical construction sectors, and suggestions for how to match 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.

The rapid mobilisation models will be used to support delivery of the pipeline of Government construction projects across the country, as well as the ‘shovel-ready’ programme that the Accord is working on with Crown Infrastructure Partners and the Infrastructure Commission.

The document includes several examples of different delivery models:

  • • Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) – alliance model
  • • Hamilton City Council Infrastructure Alliance – collaborative working arrangement
  • • AC36 Wynyard Edge Alliance – alliance model
  • • North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) – alliance model
  • • Ministry of Education – panel model
  • • Watercare Enterprise Model – procurement model 

Accord partners, the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission Te Waihanga (Infracom), and New Zealand Government Procurement and Property (part of MBIE) will provide support to agencies that are implementing the models.

A big mind shift for many

Infracom has welcomed the report on the recommendations for the rapid mobilisation models. “This paper has had valuable industry input, and Infracom is proud to have supported and facilitated the production of this rapid response paper alongside MBIE,” says Infracom chair Dr Alan Bollard.

“There are many lessons we can learn from existing models that have been used successfully. The existing procurement rules have the flexibility to allow rapid mobilisation, but it’s important that organisations are outcomes focused 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,” he notes.

Infracom 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, ‘Rapid mobilisation models to support post Covid-19 recovery’ can be downloaded here: 

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