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UK Olympics Infrastructure Lessons Shared with NZ Leaders

Friday August 22 2014

UK Olympics Infrastructure Lessons Shared with NZ Leaders

The man responsible for delivering the London Olympic complex on time and one billion pounds under budget - Sir John Armitt – was in New Zealand this week.

Sir John spoke to more than 350 public and private construction and infrastructure leaders, who were gathered in Auckland for the NZ Council for Infrastructure and Development (NZCID) Building Nations 2014 Symposium. Sir John also met with Treasury officials and Minister Gerry Brownlee to share infrastructure innovations and discussions underway in the United Kingdom.

Sir John has suggested the UK government set up an independent National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to identify the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs and help build political consensus around critical infrastructure developments.

Collaboration, cooperation and communication between the client and the construction team were the key factors in the Olympic projects’ success, according to Sir John.

Peter Cunningham, Senior Commercial lead for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and an attendee at the NZCID symposium, is collaborating with CERA to coordinate 16 different public sector agencies in charge of the Christchurch rebuild.

“I was very interested to hear about ways in which the building of the Olympic projects succeeded and how those ideas could be used in the rebuild and larger infrastructure projects.”

Mr Cunningham said he was especially interested in the Target Price Design Concept procurement model that was utilised by the team at the Olympics.

“This is a model that enables the client and the construction team to work together to negotiate and then agree on the target price for the project. The model creates the environment for collaboration, and incentivises the supplier to be innovative and deliver the project under budget,” Said Mr Cunningham.

High level team to visit UK

During the symposium, British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair, announced that a NZ infrastructure delegation would visit the UK in November. The delegation will be led by NZCID and supported by UK Trade & Investment.

“It was great to have such a visionary as Sir John in New Zealand, and we look forward to showing off his outcomes to delegation members when they are in London.”

Mr Sinclair said the mission would provide an excellent opportunity for delegation members to continue the discussions begun in Auckland this week.


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