Construction specialists act on billion-dollar procurement

by Sol Dolor12 Apr 2019

Construction experts from Simpson Grierson have helped ensure that a significant Auckland project reached a milestone.

The firm was the legal adviser of Watercare, which, along with the Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture, completed the procurement stage of the Auckland Central Interceptor project. The $1.2bn development is expected to ensure several central-city beaches and waterways are kept clean, doing so by cutting the number of overflows by more than 80% when it is constructed in 2025.

Mike Weatherall and senior associate Sonia Vitas headed the Simpson Grierson team, which has been involved in the project since May last year. The team also included senior associates Genevieve Cox (construction) and Laurette Barnard (banking), as well as solicitor Jack Hayashi (construction).

“Each milestone in this significant procurement was met, from early market engagement through to final execution, which is almost unheard of for a project of this size and complexity,” Weatherall said. “It was a pleasure to be part of this fantastic team, and our firm is proud to play our part in delivering the most significant and complex wastewater infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.”

Simpson Grierson said that key decisions were made at early stages of procurement planning. The team adopted a simple procurement process, which included releasing to market a full complete design and a well-understood and recognised international standard form contract guided by the FIDIC Red Book.

“These steps ensured that the project was attractive to both international and New Zealand-based contractors,” the firm said. “What followed was a robust and competitive process that resulted in the contract price coming significantly under budget.”