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O'Connor welcomes terms of prison build review

29 March 2006

Damien O'Connor welcomes terms of prison build review

Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor has welcomed the terms of an independent review into the regional prisons development project's cost escalation, announced today.

State Service Commissioner Mark Prebble has made public the terms of reference for the review the commission will conduct of the cost of building the Spring Hill (Waikato) and Milburn (Otago) prisons, both of which are due to be opened next year.

The SSC has selected a team of experts from Price Waterhouse Coopers, led by partner Murray Coppersmith, to carry out the review.

Mr O'Connor, who announced the review in January, said it would provide an excellent opportunity for an independent body to scrutinise the project – one of the biggest construction jobs in New Zealand.

"This is a transparent process. I'm confident Mr Coppersmith and his team will do a thorough job and highlight if there were any flaws in the way the project was managed."

Mr O'Connor said he was pleased the audit was now underway. "With a project of this scale it is important to get the terms of reference right."

It was also important to put the project in context, he said.

"This is one of the biggest construction jobs in New Zealand, and has been undertaken during a sustained period of strong economic activity, when most sizeable building projects in both the private and public sectors have been under considerable market pressures."


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