Jack Hansby, NZTA’s principal procurement manager, says that two and a half years down the track the programme is on target.
“And the credit goes to the industry and to our people for their commitment and focus into this significant change.”
It has involved a huge cultural change in the agency and a “paradigm shift” in the way it views and acts on the country’s highways asset, he adds.
“We learnt that in the old approach we focused on the asset and the road surface and roading environment. The new NOCs approach takes in ‘the customer and the customer journey’ in addition to optimising asset management.
“The Highways and Network Operations team restructured itself and we reformed how we looked internally, both at national and regional office.
“At the end of the day, we restructured industry. We have all changed together.”
Highway maintenance contracts have been reduced from around 100 contracts to 23, he iterates.
“Surprisingly, we have seen five new contractors. Of the 13 NOCs awarded so far, five of these (NOCs) have gone to new suppliers.”
Hansby notes the irony that while the whole exercise had been about efficiencies and budget restraints, the country’s largest ever state highway annual capital expenditure is planned between 2016-17.
“Ultimately you will ask the question in terms of the NOC contracts – have we actually achieved that $160 million shortfall?
“Yes we have.
“The question remains – has this saving been achieved through competition, efficiencies from the contract model, or reduced investment in renewals, or perhaps from all of these?
“We still need a bit more time before we can tell you.”