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Transmission Gully ramps up workforce

NZN 11/04/2017

Wellington's Transmission Gully roading project, which has been struggling with high worker turnover, plans to quadruple its workforce to take on more earthworks than originally planned for.

Project manager, Wellington Gateway Partnership, has slowed the rate of staff quitting and plans to take on more than 450 workers.

It expects to increase hiring to tackle 6 million cubic metres of earthworks and 27 structures on the four-lane highway that will link the capital and Porirua to the Kapiti Coast.

The consortium is encouraging construction professionals, general labourers and plant operators to get in touch on its website.

Monthly progress reports to the New Zealand Transport Agency, released under the Official Information Act, show the project itself employed 155 people in November, December and January.

The rolling average for voluntary staff turnover for those months was between 20 and 22 per cent, compared to the average across all industries in 2015 of 12.6 per cent.

Transmission Gully has consent for 6.5 million cubic metres of earthworks, which covers the main alignment work.

However, the joint venture found that wasn't enough to cover disposing of unsuitable material, ground improvements, environmental controls, topsoils stripping and stockpiling, it said.

It now has "reasonable confidence for a non-notified consent application which increases certainty around approval timeframes".

Wellington Gateway Partnership won the project to build the $850-million, 27-kilometre highway in 2014.

The consortium is made up of ASX-listed Cimic Group subsidiaries CPB and Pacific Partnerships, HEB, InfraRed Infrastructure General Partner, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFH and the Accident Compensation Corp.

The Kaikoura earthquake and downpour in November caused major delays on the northern zone of the project and parts of the southern zone, requiring remediation and clean-up work.

However, the monthly updates show the project bounced back from that work, completing much of it in December, and the consortium continues to stick to its scheduled 2020 opening.

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