An award-winning partnership agreement between Hamilton City Council and Downer NZ Ltd, established a decade ago, has been renewed for up to 10 more years.
The joint venture agreement was among the first of its kind for local authorities in New Zealand in 2013 and has since provided a model for other councils around the country. Two years after inception, the project claimed the national title for excellence in the maintenance and management of assets at the Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) awards.
While the previous working name with Downer was ‘Infrastructure Alliance’, they have begun to transition to new name “Connect Hamilton” to better represent the overall goal of the partnership.
The partnership forms a joint team which is headed by a governance group with three executives from Downer and three senior Council staff.
The collaborative environment is designed to deliver savings for both parties, better co-ordination of works across the city and has resulted in significant cost savings in the maintenance and renewal of the city’s roading assets.
Eeva-Liisa Wright, Council’s Executive Director, Infrastructure Operations, said the renewed contract will have an initial value of around $200million over the first five years.
“Each time this contract is up for renewal, our Council carefully considers all options,” said Ms Wright. “Downer has been an excellent partner alongside Council, helping us ensure our city’s transport infrastructure is maintained and updated to meet and anticipate Hamiltonian’s needs.”
Downer’s New Zealand Country Lead, Craig West, said; “We are proud to be continuing our long-standing relationship with the Hamilton City Council and the community through this new collaborative contract. “We’re committed to delivering a safe, reliable and sustainable roading network, and we’re excited about working with Council to reach our shared carbon reduction targets while making this city greener and easy to get around.”
Ms Wright said ensuring Hamilton’s transport, parking and roading assets, operations and infrastructure are fit for purpose and future-focused is an integral part of delivering Council’s transport strategy: Access Hamilton - Ara Kootuitui Kirikiriroa (hamilton.govt.nz/accesshamilton).
“Being able to get around Hamilton easily using our transport network contributes to shaping a city that’s easy to live in, one where our people thrive and where they love to be,” said Ms Wright.
Wright adds the agreement between Council and Downer aims to achieve ‘best value for money’, innovation and ‘best practice’ asset management for the city’s ratepayers.
“This type of arrangement helps create greater efficiencies across the transportation network, has shared goals and objectives between Council and Downer, and better cost transparency. It also enables us to respond more flexibly to what’s needed and when.
“We have a thriving city and we need to ensure our core infrastructure and provision of services will meet the current and future needs of our city, while enhancing the wellbeing of our communities.”
The Collaborative Corridor Agreement (CCA) between Hamilton City Council and Downer is approved for five years initially, with the option for two further extensions of 3 years and then 2 years respectively, to a maximum of 10 years, based on performance.