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Source: Far North District Council

Far North District Council is calling for Expressions of Interest from potential operators of the Hokianga Ferry and the district’s public swimming pools.

The request is part of a review of two long-standing service contracts held by Broadspectrum, which has operated the Hokianga Ferry for over 30 years, and CBEC, which for 27 years has run public swimming pools at Kaikohe, Kerikeri, Kaitaia and Kawakawa.

The reviews aim to establish whether the services and associated contracts continue to meet public and Council expectations, and continue to deliver the best value for users and ratepayers.

General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, Andy Finch, says the reviews are not a criticism of the existing contract holders, which have both provided excellent services to their communities for many years. “However, all fiscally responsible organisations should periodically review contracts. As custodian of ratepayer funds it is up to the Council to ensure contractors continue to meet evolving community needs and provide value for money.”

He says that calling for Expressions of Interest is the first step in the review process.  “Both are specialist services, particularly the Hokianga Ferry. First, we need to find out whether other operators might be interested in taking on these roles.”

The Council has engaged a consultant company to independently review both services, develop new contracts and oversee the procurement process. That review will include talking to key community groups, such as the Hokianga Ferry Liaison Group, schools and swimming clubs.
Once the Expressions of Interest process is complete, the consultant will decide whether to opt for an open tender for the services.

The Expressions of Interest will be advertised on the Government Electronic Tenders Service website this month and the outcome should be known by mid-February.

There will be no interruption to ferry or pool services while the reviews are underway.