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Deadline extended for aquatic centre proposal

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 10:41 21/02/2013
Kapiti aquatic centre
KAPITI OBSERVER

Trickling back: Work has re-started at Coastlands Aquatic Centre with a small group of contractors returning this week.

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Monday is the deadline for Mainzeal receivers to come up with a proposal for the stalled Coastlands Aquatic Centre.

By law, PricewaterhousCoopers had 10 days to come up with a proposal to deal with projects left in limbo but Kapiti Coast District Council extended the deadline to Monday, citing complex negotiations.

Community services group manager Tamsin Evans said the council acknowledged the task facing the receiver and is keen to do whatever it can to get the site operational.

"If that means showing a little flexibility, so be it. Every indication we've had from PWC is that they are as keen as we are to get the project finished so we believe it is in the council's interest to give them a few extra days."

Ms Evans said when the receivership was announced, the site was at the height of activity with almost every trade represented there.

"PWC has to talk with every one of those sub-contractors and come to arrangements that result in them resuming work. As you can imagine that is a very time consuming process."

Ms Evans said because the sub-contractors were employed by Mainzeal, the council has no contractual arrangement with them and can't interfere with negotiations.

"We have however, offered to attend meetings with PWC and the sub-contractors to facilitate their return to the site, where the receivers think this would be helpful."

She said the council and its legal advisers are continuing to talk with receivers at a senior level.

"We are just one of more than 40 sites around the country with the same issues so naturally things are not going to happen overnight. I know people are getting impatient and want a date for the Coastlands Aquatic Centre opening but we just can't talk firm dates at this stage. We are confident, however, that the project will be completed."

Meanwhile a handful of subcontractors returned to work this week, after negotiations with the receivers.

The $21m project was on track for a grand opening at the end of March but stalled on Waitangi Day with the collapse of Mainzeal, the project contractor.

Last week the council took back a half-million-dollar contract for a nearby car park - for the council headquarters upgrade - and road works, from Mainzeal.

The work is continuing with contractor PCL, which will also be completing the road works and parking around the centre.

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