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Quakes delay town project

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Construction of South Wairarapa’s Waihinga centre is hoped to start early in the new year, despite a setback this month.

Finalised pricing for the town hall upgrade and expansion in Martinborough was due early this month, but engineering paperwork had been delayed following the Kaikoura earthquake.

SWDC chief executive Paul Crimp said the earthquake had meant consulting engineers, Holmes Consulting,Wellington, were not able to access their building for two days.

Their engineering team was also called in to help assess the structural integrity of buildings in the Wellington region for a further two weeks, he said.

“This resulted in the final pricing summary not being available until late Wednesday this week.

“This does not allow sufficient time for review and analysis of the figures and finalising the contract documentation prior to Christmas.

“While this delay was unavoidable, it is anticipated details will be finalised in time for construction to commence early in the new year, meaning minimal if any delays to the overall timeline.”

SWDC Mayor Viv Napier was very excited about the project and said the delays had been “out of the council’s control”.

“It was just unfortunate that the earthquake happened really,” she said.

“We hadn’t got all the documentation until late this week, so we now need to have some time to go through it all and check everything.”

She said Mr Crimp would be working through the documents in the new year and that “when all of the contractors and architects get back on about January 9, we’ll be beavering away”.

The Waihinga Centre project officially started in September with a turf-turning and blessing.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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