Roading manager defends design cost

Craig Pocock, of Pocock Design:Environment.
Craig Pocock, of Pocock Design:Environment.

Consultancy work for the inner city upgrade has cost the Invercargill City Council more than $80,000 but council bosses say it is money well spent.

Craig Pocock, of Pocock Design:Environment, won the contract to design the controversial master plan and his services have cost the council $78,000.

City council roading manager Russell Pearson, who is spearheading the upgrade, said the cost was not exorbitant and it was a fair price to pay for the extensive work.

"It's not extravagant and I know his billable hours are more than he has allowed."

He was also given an additional allowance for expenses, such as travel and accommodation, of about $7000, Pearson said.

Pocock had spent about $4650 of that so far, he said.

As the designer, Pocock was required to scope out materials, develop landscape, lighting and shelter concepts, as well as participate in public consultation, prepare presentations for the council meetings and liaise during with firms during the tendering process.

Infrastructure and services committee chair Lindsay Thomas said he believed the cost was fair in regards to scope of work and the council had requested a lot of the designer.

Pocock said his company focussed on the outcome not how much they were paid and followed the project right through to quality control.

The project was a great opportunity for his firm and that was what was important, he said.

"For us, this is a pretty exciting project, so we guesstimated about the amount of hours that it would take but we are working for as long as it takes to get the job done."

"I don't know what my accountant would think about that, but never mind."

Two other people from his firm were working on the project every day, he said.

Pearson would not say what the other tender prices were but Pocock was not the most expensive.

The Southland Times