ENGINEERING PARTNERSHIP AWARD
SH2 WAIHĪ TO ŌMOKOROA (W20)
Beca, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, HEB Construction
“The collaborative culture which has been established between project parties and an open approach to contract management … has developed a good mix of skill to manage the retrofit nature of this project and gets better and more efficient as the corridor construction is completed.” – Chris Farnsworth, referee.
The W2O project has shown that collaboration with the community and stakeholders, shared values, and an energised approach to delivery can result in successful project outcomes that benefit the local community and wider region.
The State Highway 2 (SH2) between Waihī and Ōmokoroa is one of New Zealand’s most dangerous roads, with 25 deaths and 66 serious injuries reported between 2009 and 2018. The SH2 Waihī to Ōmokoroa (W2O) project sought to deliver much needed safety improvements, for the benefit of the local community, wider Bay of Plenty, and those passing through.
The partnership between Beca, Waka Kotahi, and HEB Construction developed an innovative procurement strategy to deliver safety outcomes as quickly as possible within funding constraints. The success of the project was not just limited to the partnership between the contracted parties but also extended to the partnerships with stakeholders and communities. By being truly part of and engaged with the community saw the ability to respond to opportunities for better social, environmental and cultural outcomes.
As of February 2023, 86% of the project has been completed, the project is expected to finish under total available funds, and most importantly the safety objectives are on track for delivery. The innovative procurement approach has helped the project progress faster and at a lower cost than expected, even with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and cost escalation for materials. Owing to the lump sum nature of the funding arrangement, issues were resolved by smarter design, improved productivity and collaborative problem-solving between the design team and third parties. The partnership between the three organizations has resulted in cost-effective delivery, a positive and productive team, effective community and stakeholder engagement, and efficient delivery of utilities works.
The project has also avoided duplication and disruption by integrating other national initiatives, such as the Waka Kotahi national pavement renewals program, into the project scope. The project’s success is attributed to the strong partnership between Beca, HEB, Waka Kotahi, and effective communication with communities to communicate the wider benefits of the project, such as safety and reduction of deaths and serious injuries (DSI), employment opportunities, ecological enhancements, and improved resilience.
The W2O project has been recognized as a 2022 Beacon by the Construction Sector Accord for embedding a relationship-based delivery model for complex projects to deliver project outcomes – shining a light on good practice and innovation in the sector that others can learn from. The project’s success demonstrates that the success of large infrastructure projects delivered through partnerships like this is all about people and culture. W2O has shown that collaboration with the community and stakeholders, shared values, and an energized approach to delivery can result in successful project outcomes that benefit the local community and wider region.