City Care silent on reason for 'risky' move

19:20, Feb 28 2013

Ratepayer-owned City Care is refusing to explain its move into the "risky" commercial construction sector and may be signalling its interest in the big anchor projects.

The Christchurch City Council-owned company will not talk about a move that it has been contemplating for more than six months.

It may be the only ratepayer- owned company in the country in commercial construction.

Onno Mulder, City Care's chief executive, said the collapse of Mainzeal Property and Construction provided the entry, with City Care hiring the former South Island management team of that company after it was placed in receivership on Waitangi Day.

"This move signals the establishment of a new building construction business for City Care, which will complement the company's existing building maintenance and management operations."

The Press sent several questions to the company about the risks of operating in this area, its growth aspirations, its interest in taking part in central business district anchor projects and the possibility that eventually it could be one of the companies the council is forced to sell.

However, Mulder said answers to these questions were commercially sensitive. "At this stage it is inappropriate to provide further comment . . . This information is obviously commercially sensitive.

"The employment of the Mainzeal management team, and the establishment of the new building construction division, marks a significant strategic development for City Care as the company boosts its participation in the Christchurch rebuild to include key building infrastructure projects."


The Press