Cake decorators no longer providing Westland with sewage upgrade

A West Coast council has terminated its contract with a cake decorator’s firm to upgrade two water treatment plants.

The Westland District Council’s $405,000 contract with Techno Economic Services NZ Ltd (TES), a new business with no track record in water management, was to upgrade water treatment plans in Kumara and Whataroa.

A statement issued by the Westland District Council on Thursday stated the contract was stopped on Wednesday with the “mutual agreement of the parties”.

The move followed delays in carrying out the planned upgrades due to internal investigations at the council.

Why did it even take that long?  Were the cake decorators seriously going to try and install a waste management system without any previous experience?  

The council decided to reassess the contract in March to confirm the correct tender process was followed after publicity about TES NZ’s director, Neha Bubna, being an Auckland-based cake decorator with no experience in water management.

Council assets manager Vivek Goel, who is on leave from his position while the Serious Fraud Office investigates his contracts, oversaw the deal.

The council said TES NZ was formed by parent company TES India, based in New Delhi, specifically for the Whataroa and Kumara projects. Bubna was appointed as the New Zealand-based representative of TES India.

Work on the water supply upgrades was to be carried out by consultants from TES India, in conjunction with New Zealand contractors.

Council chief executive Robin Reeves said the council’s focus now was to “ensure these necessary water supply upgrades are carried out efficiently and effectively”.

It had commenced negotiations with the next preferred applicant to gauge their availability for the contract. Both plants had originally been expected to be operational by August.

Another stellar performance by the West Coast council.  At least it only got to the point of eggs on faces, lost money and time in planning and investigating, and an area which will, maybe, if it is lucky, get what they need a year or two late and hundreds of thousands over budget.

But then again, what’s new?


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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