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More on the Thames Indoor Sports Facility!

It has been blindingly obvious for some time that our severely depleted Council staff resource lacks commercial nous and common sense. With the departure of experienced and competent senior staff we are now reduced to 'making-do' with a people who are totally inapproriate, or lack the experience brought about by a long apprenticeship in the vagaries of local government decision making. 

It is the very ethos of the place since the advent of Leach and Hammond that has led to the kind of decision making that is reflected below. Here are the responses to a set of questions that I put to the Senior Media Advisor - Drew Mehrtens earlier today about the appointment of Stanley Construction Ltd to undertake the Design/Build process:

Hi Bill,

"Here's the best I can do at the moment (in my bold below):"

1. Was due diligence carried out on Stanley Construction (Waikato) Ltd before they were awarded the contract?

"Simon gave me the wrong company information last week due to me rushing him. It turns out my original information from the order paper as written in the press release was the correct version. Stanley Construction Ltd is the successful tenderer Company number 5582005.  Due diligence was limited with no request for financial position."

 2. How many other companies tended for the contract?

"Four were included in the tender, and three tenders were received."

 3. What were the names of those companies?

"Stanley Construction Ltd, Foster Construction Ltd, and Livingston Construction Ltd. Watts & Hughes Construction Ltd failed to submit a tender."

4. What is the amount being paid to Stanley Construction (Waikato) Ltd for the design dstage?

"This is under negotiation prior to executing documentation."

5. Will the February meeting of Council approve the build stage based solely on the figure provided by Stanley Construction (Waikato) Ltd?.

"This will be based on their pricing schedules plus review by independent QS employed by TCDC."

 6. Will this figure be arrived at solely by way of negotiation between the architect and Stanley?

"The figure will be negotiated by the architect, the TCDC construction project manager (QSC Consultants Ltd) and will be approved for report to Council by TCDC staff."

7. What role did the architect play in the selection of Stanley Construction (Waikato) Ltd for the Design/Build role?

"The architect prepared the tender documents and was one of the of four-member evaluation team."

8. Has the architect undertaken any other similar design/build projects with Stanley Construction (Waikato) Ltd, or any other Stanley Construction company (there are three!)?

"I have no confirmed information beyond a verbal, but I believe they have not worked with Stanley before."



Andrew Mehrtens                                                                                                                                  Senior Media and Publications Advisor

I don't blame Drew for any of this - he is simply the messenger. I hold all those responsible for administering this contract blameworthy for not having undertaken appropriate due diligence on the company (and its associate companies)  awarded the contract. What on earth do these people do to earn their inflated salaries.

First of all, they came to Council with a 'cock & bull' story about the need for this to be a 'design & build' contract' because that was what the architect recommended - now you may understand the reason for my line of questioning above. What it means is that the actual build is not tendered - a 'preferred' builder is appointed following a limited tendering process who 'negotiates' the build price with the architect and Council appointed quantity surveyor.

The method has been used elsewhere, but it is frowned upon and eschewed by a large number of councils who regard it as far too open to manipulation. The only fair and square tendering process remains that where tenderers submit their build prices in a totally transparent manner through the tender box. Ask any tradesman or contractor who hold up the bars of the various clubs around the Peninsula just how our Council is taken for a ride - they will be laughing out loud at the process I have just outlined. 

Here we have a company that in recent months has been through a 'compromise' process at huge cost to its creditors - and don't try to distinguish one Stanley Construction Company from any other - they are essentially all the same with the same directors and registered details. 

This should surely have been first and foremost for our staff before placing their recommendations before Council. By not asking the approriate questions of staff, councillors are similarly negligent - How about - "What was the nature of the due diligence undertaken on this tenderer that you are recommending?" for starters.

For 'Simon' to state that "Due diligence was limited with no request for financial information" is a simple admission that in effect no due diligence was undertaken - forget the crap!

'Simon' is clearly in the gun for all this, but don't expect any action to be taken against him or others for the failure to complete the most essential of due diligence enquiries. Excuses will be offered, and dissembling will be the order of the day should any enquiry be made at the February Council meeting - but regardless, another commercial 'stuff-up' is on the way!




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Reader Comments (1)

Simon Stephens should know better, he is after all an ex banker who likes to boast about his commercial business acumen that he brought to the table and charmed his way into a permanent role.

December 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJust a ratepayer

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