Buller District Council

Media Release- Ngāti Waewae and Buller District Council to Explore Partnership Opportunity for Council Building

20th June, 2019

Ngāti Waewae and Buller District Council are exploring a partnership opportunity for the development of a civic building in Westport.

This week they have taken the first formal step, entering into a Principles Agreement to guide their interactions and decisions to take place in good faith. This Agreement will enable Ngāti Waewae and Council to work together to investigate a partnership model which allows for iwi to develop and own, either alone or in partnership with other investors, a civic building in Westport that would house the Buller District Council office along with other Council and civic functions.

Ngāti Waewae chairman Francois Tumahai and Buller District Council chief executive Sharon Mason say there is a significant appetite for collaboration between their organisations, and a desire to align their strategic priorities and better facilitate avenues for collaboration and mutual benefit in both the short and long-term.

Mrs Mason says that this is an exciting opportunity with the potential to deliver significant benefit to the Buller community. “A partnership with Ngāti Waewae would allow us to explore options for our civic buildings that would not be feasible for Council alone. This could deliver a better outcome for our community, including greater affordability for our ratepayers. Council also welcomes the opportunity to work closely with Ngāti Waewae and to continue to foster the positive relationship we have been building.”

“Ngāti Waewae is looking to be proactive about local investment and partnership, supporting investment in infrastructure and community assets that will materially benefit the community” says Mr Tumahai. “We are interested in exploring opportunities where commercial and community outcomes can be aligned, and recognise that a collaborative approach can enhance the respective interests of all parties. Council’s need to redevelop its civic buildings in Westport presented an opportunity that aligns well with our approach, as well as allowing us to further enhance our relationship.”

The parties will work together over the next three months to consider partnership options, feasibility, broader outcomes and alignment.

Earlier this year Council had called for requests for proposals (RFP) for the pre-construction, design and construction for the upgrade of its existing Brougham House Office and Victoria Square Complex buildings. The RFP has now been cancelled to enable a revision of the project in light of this new opportunity.


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