Local Government Magazine

WestLink project Highly Commended

At the 2015 LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards.

EQC EXCELLENCE Award for Infrastructure Project of the Year.

Highly Commended: Western Bay of Plenty District Council 
– in association with NZ Transport Agency – WestLink project

The collaborative WestLink strategy, between Western Bay of Plenty District Council and NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), has already saved $50 million while improving road maintenance in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Awards judges praised the scheme as a good partnership resulting in clever contracting and substantial savings – with further benefits expected.

Launched in 2002, the WestLink approach is a key example of local and central government working together to achieve best practice in ‘one network’ road maintenance.

The project itself is the culmination and refinement of more than a decade of experience gained in collaborative lump sum and performance-based road maintenance contracts.

The inclusive performance-based contract model reduces costs by focusing on overall performance standards assessed through a quality assurance process, rather than individual transactions.

This is achieved by describing requirements in terms of results required rather than specifying how the work is to be accomplished. Measurable performance standards and how the contractors’ performance will be evaluated are set out in a quality assurance plan.

The contract includes customer service, asset management, professional services, programming, planning, road maintenance, renewals and reseals delivered to set key performance measures and levels of service for a fixed lump sum payment.

Outcomes have included savings of $3.7 million annually, with improved levels of service in several areas and an increased focus on road safety. The project has also resulted in upskilling of council and NZTA staff. Efficiencies have reduced financial pressure on the council allowing it to redirect spending in the 2015 long-term plan.

LGNZ president Lawrence Yule said, “This is an impressive achievement – a new contracting model that delivers more efficiency, effectiveness and innovation, and is a model that can be used by other councils throughout New Zealand.”

This article was first published in the August 2015 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.

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