The big shift is on for govt office space

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2013

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The agency co-ordinating all government office accommodation requirements is about to call for proposals from property owners and developers to provide office space for 31 different government agencies.

The Government's Property Management Centre of Excellence (PMCoE) says it is looking for between 11 and 14.5 hectares of space for departments and agencies that have leases expiring between 2016 and 2018.

The requirement for 110,000 and 145,000 square metres of office space is based on a calculation that public servants need 12-16 square metres of office space each.

Registrations of interest for what is described as the second tranche of PMCoE's Wellington accommodation project closed on Thursday.

Requests for proposals are scheduled to be released by mid-December with an initial closure date of mid-March and a final closure in May.

Approvals are expected between August and October.

PMCoE's aim is to save government money by negotiating bulk leases, co-ordinating department requirements, getting departments to share services and to cut the amount of space per worker.

Last year it began the process in Wellington by selecting a shortlist of developers to provide it with 60,000 square metres of space for the ministries of Business, Innovation and Employment, Education, Health, Social Development and the Crown Law Office.

MBIE is set to move into the extensively refurbished former Defence headquarters building in Stout St next year.

Yesterday's announcement confirms that the Ministry of Social Development will be moving from the Bowen Campus behind Parliament to Unisys House on The Terrace.

Details of plans to house Health and Education are still to be finalised but it is understood the Ministry of Health's present head office, the William Clayton Building at the top of Molesworth St, will be redeveloped and extended to accommodate all the ministry's Wellington staff.

And the Ministry of Education is believed to be preparing to shift to the office block at 33 Bowen St which will be refurbished after MBIE vacate the building.

The second tranche is potentially more complex because of the number of agencies involved and the coordination needed if they are going to be rehoused in shared facilities. Leasing agents suggest the Bowen Campus, where MSD is now based, could house all agencies required to move.

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