Preferred contractor built Chch Hospital

A shortage of beds forced 41 overnight surgeries to be cancelled at Christchurch Hospital. Photo:...
Christchurch Hospital. Photo: NZ Herald
The Australasian firm CPB Contractors was yesterday named the Ministry of Health’s ‘‘preferred respondent’’ to build the larger of the two main buildings in the $1.47 billion project.

It is not guaranteed the CPB — one of three which tendered for the work — will win the final contract.

However, it will take part in early contractor engagement, in which company representatives will take part in final design and pricing discussions.

Nor does it guarantee CPB will build the smaller inpatient building, work which ministry acting deputy director-general of infrastructure Karen Mitchell said would be opened for tender later this year.

‘‘CPB demonstrated a depth of experience delivering complex, large-scale projects and numerous hospital developments, including the recently completed Waipapa hospital project in Christchurch,’’ Ms Mitchell said.

‘‘The input of this building company is important for ensuring we get it right for the next 18 months of design and build planning, and leading into construction.’’

The $500million Christchurch hospital had been scheduled to open in 2018 but after multiple setbacks it eventually opened in late 2020.

The ministry said CPB’s past experience building hospitals in New Zealand and Australia would be invaluable.

‘‘If CPB is awarded the pre-construction contract, we will be able to draw on their experience and proactively address any challenges that may typically be encountered in the construction phase.’’

Construction of the inpatient building, which will sit on the former Cadbury chocolate factory site, is not scheduled to start until late 2023, for completion in 2028.

‘‘Appointing a main contractor for a pre-construction phase is highly beneficial to the project, allowing the contractor to proactively contribute to the building’s design and buildability, and planning and pricing the subsequent construction phases,’’ Ms Mitchell said

Those discussions would not not create any legally binding obligations between CPB and the ministry, she said.

The ministry was not taking the same approach to the smaller outpatient building, which will be built on the former Wilson car parking site.

‘‘The outpatient building is small and less complex, with a construction period of three years,’’ Ms Mitchell said.

‘‘The building has been built before in New Zealand and it follows, to a large extent, the design of the Waipapa outpatient building in Christchurch.’’

That building is planned to open in 2025.

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