Convention centre bidding war runs out

Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014

Relevant offers

The Rebuild

Christchurch City Council could reinstate car parks after controversial changes to St Asaph St Cathedral Square site sale first in almost a century after rebuild plans founder Editorial: Time for decisive action on Cathedral to end Christchurch's pain Christchurch dilemmas: Is the tide about to turn for New Brighton? Christ Church Cathedral pro-restoration trust launches ad campaign as PR battle warms up EQC 'cocked up' with Christchurch family's burnt and quake-hit home, lawyer says Christchurch gymnastics school wants $1.1m from council to help rebuild at QEII Rebuild minister 'deeply disappointed' by Christ Church Cathedral decision delay until September Christchurch City Council could acquire Redcliffs School site for free Fire on day family moved into Christchurch home ignites year-long insurance nightmare

The race to design and build Christchurch's new convention centre is down to one after another bidder pulled out this week, according to documents obtained by The Press.

Five groups, out of 23 initial responses, were asked to submit proposals for the $284 million precinct - one of the Government's key blueprint anchor projects - to the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).

The CCDU was unable to confirm how many groups were still being considered but a letter obtained by The Press showed one consortium pulled out, citing a lack of information.

Southrim Group, described by the Companies Office as a passive investment company, confirmed in the letter to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) it was pulling out. The March 10 letter, written by chief executive Garry Woods and supplied to The Press by a third party, confirmed Southrim had been one of two remaining bidders.

It also said the Crown had confirmed it would proceed with the project with only one bidder.

Last year, Ngai Tahu Property, Fletcher Building and Naylor Love-Hutchinson Builders and Populous, a global design and planning consultancy, confirmed they were among the five shortlisted groups. They would not reveal their partners.

Others understood to be in the five groups included New Zealand infrastructure investor Morrison and Co, and Australia-based infrastructure business Plenary Group.

The Press understands Plenary is the only bidder left.

Plenary corporate affairs director Kelvyn Lavelle said it was public knowledge the firm was a bidder, but he did not know whether it was the last remaining.

Woods did not want to comment when contacted, saying the matter was private and could affect the firm's business rapport with Cera.

Ngai Tahu Property, one the five preferred groups, confirmed it had withdrawn from the process without bidding for "sound commercial reasons".

"It's been a pretty competitive process to date," chief executive Tony Sewell said.

Last month, a Cera spokesman said since the initial 23 responses were received to design, build, finance, maintain and run the precinct "the parameters of the tender have been adjusted" and the functions would now be tendered separately.

CCDU director Warwick Isaacs said a business case was finalised in September and had been before the Cabinet. "We are confident the procurement process for the convention centre precinct meets all of the requirements and will deliver the best outcome for the city."

Ad Feedback

- The Press


Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it worth spending extra to repair heritage buildings?

Yes, Christchurch needs to invest in its heritage buildings

No, we should embrace modern design if it is cheaper and quicker

Only some heritage buildings are worth the money

Vote Result

Related story: Landmark church nearly $1m short

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content