Five on Chch convention centre short list

One of New Zealand's large construction companies and its new Australian rebuild partner are among five consortiums short-listed to construct the Convention Centre.

Naylor Love announced yesterday it had formed an alliance with Hutchinson Builders and was aiming for the precinct redevelopment projects run by Christchurch Central Development Unit, a division of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Naylor Love director Scott Watson also confirmed the duo were leading a consortium short-listed by CCDU for the multimillion-dollar Convention Centre project.

"The alliance is designed to target major city plan precinct projects, with business as usual for all other Naylor Love clients," Watson said.

CCDU is not revealing who the five are. It received 22 expressions of interest in the Convention Centre Precinct.

It has whittled those down to a short list of five submitters, comprising a mixture of domestic and international parties. The next phase is for CCDU to complete a detailed business case for the Convention Centre Precinct.

CCDU aims to see the first sod of the Convention Centre project turned at the end of next year and completion about March 2017.

Watson said Hutchinson could supply manpower as well as contract other resources from Australia if the consortium was successful in bidding for the precinct projects.

"It gives us an extended supply chain.

"I suppose the concern of a lot of people in Christchurch is will the supply chain cope with the demand eventually. We will be looking at options that we can supplement that."

The expressions-of-interest phase required bidders to put together a consortium that could provide "a complete solution" but the details did not have to be nailed down. Their bid included designers, engineers, and others, and funding options.

Naylor Love has a large presence in Christchurch, has turnover of about $250 million a year and 330 staff.

Hutchinson is one of the largest privately owned construction companies in Australia, has sales of nearly A$1 billion (NZ1.25b), 1300 employees and celebrated its centenary this year.

Watson said construction was quiet in Australia. Naylor Love had known Hutchison for several years and "we are confident we will work well together".

Hutchinson managing director Scott Hutchinson said his company and Naylor Love were a natural fit.

Naylor Love is working on the construction of the Christchurch cardboard cathedral, the Isaac Theatre Royal earthquake restoration and New Regent St.