TMV project stalled by land issues

Wednesday June 06, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
Up until land issues brought work to a halt, the Te Mato Vai project had been proceeding at pace back in 2016 when this photo was taken. 16020102 Up until land issues brought work to a halt, the Te Mato Vai project had been proceeding at pace back in 2016 when this photo was taken. 16020102

Dear Editor,

In Tim Tepaki’s most recent letter to the editor relating to the Te Mato Vai (TMV) project, he asks, “where the project manager, ‘Kupe’, is in all this”.

I presume Mr Tepaki is referring to Kupa Engineering and Water (KEW).

If yes, he might be interested to know that KEW’s contract supervising stage one of the Te Mato Vai project was brought to a close more than two years ago.

While well over 90 per cent of stage one had been finished at that time (May 2016), land issues preventing access to the last two or three kilometres to finish the ring main had meant no work had been possible for some months – and with no end in sight to the issues, KEW’s contract was terminated.

Although laying the new ring main started later than expected, the contract proceeded at a pace which saw almost all the work completed well within the contract time and price – but it was brought to a halt by landowner issues.

Similar problems stalled the start of stage two of Te Mato Vai, the refurbishing of the water intakes in the foothills around Rarotonga.

The managing director for KEW – Latu Kupa – said at the time he was saddened his company wasn’t able to complete the whole of stage one and see it and stage two commissioned to provide a better, more reliable and potable water supply for Rarotonga.

“However, dealing with the land issues is something that can only be sorted out between the government and the landowners,” he said.

“It’s out of our control. Although we would have liked to be part of getting the new system and the authority to run it up and going, we’re proud that we and the CCECC contractors and their local sub-contractors were able to finish our bit – that we’ve been able to do – expeditiously and on time.”

The head of MFEM – Garth Henderson – also said at the time, that with stage one ring main infrastructure practically completed and land issues prevailing, the government decided to review the project management to ensure that the management structures in place continued to provide the most appropriate levels of service.

“After thorough consideration, it was determined that the project had reached a point where overall management could be simplified,” said Henderson.

“Government is keen to maintain the momentum established under KEW’s purview, but is always looking for options that best serve the project and country. The stage one contractor CCECC completed its works almost ten months ahead of the planned schedule under the supervision of KEW, and the government would like to acknowledge the speed and efficiency at which this was delivered.” Henderson was quoted as saying this in May 2016.

            Jaewynn McKay

            Then TMV Comms Advisor                  (who also got the flick!)

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