Auckland’s population is growing by 44,000 people per annum. Auckland Council has a commitment under the Auckland Housing Accord to respond to the large increase in growth. Development initiatives such as the Special Housing Areas and Spatial Priority Areas demand short timeframes for approving developments. This rapid growth puts pressure onto resources to provide accurate information within short time frames. Results obtained from Stormwater models are critical in informing decisions around flood risk assessments and capital projects to support the growth initiatives. The traditional approach of procuring consultants to build Stormwater models has presented difficulty in meeting these timeframes, being responsive to change and allowing room for flexibility or innovation.
Auckland Council established the Modelling Project Office (MPO) in January 2015 to improve responsiveness for growth initiatives. The MPO is a panel of six secondees and their resources in their home offices. The MPO allows for improvement in scoping, quality, flexibility and consistency in the deliverables. The MPO is set up to deliver up to $2.2 million per annum of modelling work over three years. A performance framework was jointly developed to ensure the value of the MPO is realised. This framework benchmarks both consultants and Auckland Councils performance to drive innovation and continuous improvement.
This paper explores the benefits of a Modelling Project Office approach and how it differs to the traditional approach in terms of procurement, scope, collaboration, time and cost. It provides insights into how a collaborative approach between consultants and clients achieves better outcomes and cost savings for both parties and the local industry’s technical capabilities. It also provides discussions on the lessons learnt through the process.