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Agreement On Re-Laying Of CBD Cable


27 April 2001


Utility companies who failed to meet Auckland City regulations when laying cable in the central business district have agreed on a programme of reinstatement of their sub-standard work.

The repair work is in 19 sites and will be done in a planned programme of works starting now and is scheduled to finish at the beginning of June if there is fine weather and no unforseen circumstances.

Councillors say the utility companies should have been more vigilant in monitoring the quality of their work and they are adamant the Council will not be held responsible for the roads and footpaths being dug up a second time in four months.

The Council’s Transport and Roading Committee this week received a confidential report which detailed a list of non-compliance with agreed regulations.

The Committee recommended the utility operators immediately reinstate non-complying works to the agreed standard with minimal disruption to motorists, businesses and residents in the CBD and that the costs to Council of the reinstatement be identified and communicated to the public and the utility operators.

In some areas the utilities had failed to ensure the cables were laid to the agreed depth, in other locations poor compacting has meant the roadway has subsided and the quality of reseals has been inadequate in other places.

The chairperson of the committee, Councillor Catherine Harland, said the need to re-lay the cable and the road and pavement reinstatement was disappointing as the Council and utility operators had gone to great lengths to minimise disruption in the CBD when the cables were laid over the Christmas-New Year holiday period. In the majority of cases this was achieved.

“Now, because of the poor quality of work and lack of adequate quality control checking by utility operators they are having to do some of the work again,” said Councillor Harland.

“If the utilities had done the job right first time, we would not be in this situation.”

She said the onus was on the utility companies project managers to ensure their contractors met the agreed standards. The reinstatement standards were based on a Code of Practice for Working in the Road, developed as a joint initiative between the councils in the Auckland region and the Auckland Utility Operators Group.

While the committee was critical of those companies not meeting the agreed standards, it acknowledged that there was some good quality work from some utilities in the CBD and in the Auckland isthmus.

As part of its “roll out” of telecommunications cabling, the council had an agreement with several telecommunication operators on the installation of high-speed fibre optic cable in Auckland’s central business district.

This avoided the problem of each of the four telecommunications companies individually digging up two trenches per street – eight trenches per street would have been unacceptable.

The agreement which had the four companies cabling simultaneously, reduced disruption in much of the central city when major work began after Christmas.

Councillor Harland said the outcome the Council is seeking is good quality roading and repairs by the utility operators at no cost to the ratepayers.


For further information, please contact:
Councillor Catherine Harland, Auckland City Council, tel: 636-8464.

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