Joint effort by NZ firms a possibility

An artist's impression of what Dunedin's new hospital could look like. Image: Supplied
An artist's impression of what Dunedin's new hospital could look like. Image: Supplied
New Zealand firms could take on the $1.4billion Dunedin Hospital build, but only if the job was split up into smaller contracts, Leighs Construction general manager Anthony Leighs says.

It is unknown at this stage whether the build will go to a New Zealand or overseas firm.

Asked his views on whether a New Zealand company or group of companies could take the contract, Mr Leighs said a joint venture could come together in New Zealand to deliver the project.

"In saying that, it's a very big undertaking, and a big project in the context of everything else that's being built in New Zealand.

"It's an enormous undertaking in the context of the scale of the Otago market."

He said there was capacity in the market, but "there's not an immediate obvious answer as to two or three firms you would point to that would be there as a main contractor on a project of this nature".

If the build was carried out as one $1.4 billion job it would be "a mega project on an international scale", Mr Leighs said.

If it was structured as a collection of three or four jobs, it would become far more manageable.

In May, Local Advisory Group convener Pete Hodgson said it was possible to let more than one contract, but "it is not anticipated that we would ... in the case of construction contracts, the biggest will be for the main building and I don't see how that can be split".

"But when you get to construction contracts where there will be constraints on the ability of firms to deliver ... we will make it a little easier I think, by splitting off contracts for other buildings where that seems a reasonable thing to do," he said.


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