6 Aug 2018

Govt pushing 'unfair risk' on to builders - construction boss

From Morning Report, 8:12 am on 6 August 2018

A construction industry leader warns a badly leaking Auckland high school, that's now ensnared in multimillion-dollar legal fight, is what comes from the government building on the cheap. Geoff Hunt headed Hawkins Construction, some years after it built Botany Downs High School. He says its fate is the inevitable result of the government departments pushing unfair risk on to builders. The Master Builders and a leading mediator say recent Education Ministry contract changes are pushing even more risk on to builders. Two construction firms failed last week, one of the them was the major player Ebert. The Education Ministry is pursuing a collapsed company that Hawkins left behind when it was taken over last year, for $14 million in court-ordered damages. But Geoff Hunt, who chairs the Construction Strategy Group, told RNZ's Phil Pennington the Ministry kept trying to screw Hawkins down on the price at Botany Downs.