Rod James, NZ Transport Agency state highways manager for Wellington, has hit back at claims by Cr K Gurunathan that local nurseries are missing out on big contracts for the Kapiti Expressway.
Kapiti Coast Councillor Gurunathan (Guru) said earlier:”Local nursery industry advocates are crying foul that multi-million dollar contracts could be in the process of being dished out by NZTA to companies as far north as Whangarei — while local nurseries are left struggling for business.
“The Expressway was supposed to create local jobs and local economic benefits but that does not seem to be the reality in this case.”
But Mr James says the only supply contract let for landscape planting on the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway has been for collection of seeds and trial planting.
He says these are relevant facts:
· The value of the contract in place was $6,000 and was awarded in December 2012 after an invited tender process which included local nurseries.
· For the main Expressway project itself, the procurement strategy for the landscape planting is still being finalised
– The cost of the planting for the whole project will ultimately depend on the outcome of the competitive tender process
– We need to ensure we are running an open, fair and transparent tender process, and Kapiti businesses will of course be able to put forward tenders
· We will give prime consideration to how work packages can be sized to encourage local business participation. This could mean looking at whether some of the work can be divvied up into jobs that could be met by smaller, locally run businesses.
– There is no doubt that the expressway project will involve significant participation from local people and businesses, and we expect its flow-on economic benefits for Kapiti to be substantial.
And Mr James says:” Over the next 3 months we expect to be inviting expressions of interest in the project work.”