With a review already under way New Plymouth Grey Power will today renew their call for local business to get preference when tendering for council contracts.
The motion is similar to one already issued by the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce after the New Plymouth District Council awarded a Wellington firm the Festival of the Lights installation contract in July, despite a local firm offering a lower price.
The council received three tenders for the contract. New Plymouth's Wells Instrument and Electrical came in with a price of $363,650, MJF Lighting of Tawa bid $389,750 and another company put in a tender of $604,158.
The estimated price for the contract was $400,200.
The deputation by Grey Power's Hugh Johnson to the policy committee this afternoon will ask that local firms get a preferential weighting when tendering for district council jobs to avoid work going "outside" the district.
South Taranaki and Stratford already operate such "favouritism" rules but the Christchurch City Council recently dumped a similar procurement policy because it was costing them too much.
Councillor Shaun Biesiek called for the review of his council's procurement rules in September, more than two months after MJF Lighting was awarded the installation contract for the festival of lights.
Mr Biesiek said the review should be completed by the next meeting cycle in early December.
"What I have asked for is how our procurement policy links with our strategic intent. After all, the strategic intent for the festival is it be a local festival," he said.
Throughout the battle of the lights Wells boss Graham Wells has maintained the council has not adequately explained why his firm lost the installation contract after nine years of experience. Council chief executive Barbara McKerrow has refused to answer some of Mr Wells' questions on the matter, citing concerns around "commercial sensitivity".
Mayor Harry Duynhoven said instituting a local preference policy could lead to higher rates.
The design contract for the Festival of the Lights has not yet been awarded.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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