28 January 2022

Dear CEO

Re: Gateway Project

I write on behalf of Kapiti Improvement Society concerning Uruhi. This project KCDC assured the Government was ‘shovel ready’ nearly 2 years ago, is it now shovel ready? 

The Society has been made aware that you have let contracts for the internal layout of the visitor section of Uruhi and you have appointed a head contractor to build a reconfigured building. Concerning the contract for the internals, please advise the following: Is this work within the current budget?  The Price Waterhouse Report cites this as the budget:


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You have announced the re-design makes the predominant purpose now a museum/culture centre and to this end the museum space has been increased and the biosecurity are reduced. 

Your website says “In November 2021, we’ve reviewed the layout of the building pods with our architect and other stakeholders. While the overall footprint of the pods remains the same, the modified design sees more space dedicated to the visitor discovery pod, and the size of the biosecurity pod has been reduced.” The original figures as stated by PW: “The biosecurity pod will be 160m2, including 44m2 of toilets. What is the new size? 

KCDC says it has let a tender for a total re-design of the building including a contract for a sophisticated cultural centre. The NZ Government site gets.govt.nz says —


We’re looking for: An indoor and outdoor Visitor Discovery experience as part of Te Uruhi development in Maclean Park, Paraparaumu that provides:
* story-telling (using a variety of methods to engage, inform and educate visitors) to locals and people visiting the Kāpiti region, in particular Kāpiti Island;
* methods that are interactive, informative, innovative, accessible, ie to people with visual, hearing, or mobility impairments, sustainable, creative, fun;
* collaboration with our iwi partners and other stakeholders, e.g., the Department of Conservation, to determine which stories to tell, their content, and how to tell them. 

Costings/budget projections:

With a change in dominant use will the ticket cost surcharges to visitors and concessioners be adjusted? Has Council considered how will that impact on the Council subsidy to operate the building? PW indicates income of the biosecurity pod will be through biosecurity concession fees, a 10% surcharge on ticket fees, a weekly rental of $100 per week and a biosecurity fee of up to $10.

With less space for the concessionaires, will KCDC still impose the costs on them as recommended by PW? 

What costings were done to ensure that the changes fall within the PW Budget set out above?

When did Council vote on these major changes? 

Who won the tender? 

Has a budget  been set for doing this internal design work? 

If so what is it?

Does it fall within the PW Budget set out above?

The major contract

The major contract, (“a ECI contract that reduces costs because construction feedback is incorporated design before it’s finalised Sean Mellon announced in September. The above mentioned GETS webite says of the contract: “Kāpiti Coast District Council is seeking a main building contractor for Te Uruhi — the contractor will first need to provide constructability input into the detailed design.  The successful tenderer was “Focus Projects Limited, Plimmerton $30,000.”

  • When will Focus finalise their constructability input?
  • When will it perform its other obligations-? Please list. Can we be supplied with a copy of the tender documents please. (They are not accessable on GETs despite your website indicating the contrary). The only info we have is in footnote (2) . 
  • Focus is described as the main contractor. Will it be doing the build?
  • How many other tenderers were there?

Thanking you in anticipation of your reply.

Christopher Ruthe

President, Kapiti Improvement Society