Armourguard takes over councils' enforcement

By Alexandra Newlove

7 comments
Parking wardens on the Environmental Northland Ltd (ENL). ENL has lost the contract they held for 20 years. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Parking wardens on the Environmental Northland Ltd (ENL). ENL has lost the contract they held for 20 years. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Look for navy uniforms instead of purple when you are trying to dodge the parking inspector in future.

Whangarei and Kaipara district councils have confirmed that as of September, Armourguard will take over the councils' enforcement activities, ousting locally owned incumbent Environmental Northland Ltd (ENL) which has held the contract for 20 years.

The regulatory services contract, worth about $1.1 million a year, involved parking and bylaw enforcement, dog control, noise control and swimming pool inspections.

Over the years ENL owner-operator Keith Thompson and his team of purple-clad officers had become a familiar sight around Whangarei and Dargaville.

Mr Thompson said he had "been better" following the Friday's public confirmation that he would lose the contract.

"I'm surviving," he said. "I've enjoyed the last 20 years. Yes, there have been some challenges but on the whole I think we've done pretty well given we were doing 5000-odd jobs a month."

ENL lost to its competitor despite being the cheaper choice, with its bid of $1,167,493 about $20,000 less than the $1,188,987 price put forth by Armourguard, which was owned by New York-based multinational Evergreen Capital.

WDC and KDC hired a consultant to manage the procurement process.

The councils considered price along with attributes including relevant experience, relationship management and resources.

This differed to the "lowest price conforming" method the councils had used in the past.

WDC group manager of district living Paul Dell said while the councils' procurement process had no requirements around supporting local business, contractors needed to have a local presence to meet the contract specifications.

"While ENL's [bid] was approximately $20,000 less, when adjusted for the weighted attribute score, Armourguard were the successful tenderer," he said.

Armourguard had security contracts in Whangarei with Ministry for Social Development, Refining New Zealand and Northland District Health Board.

Armourguard regional manager Warwick Taylor said his company would be looking to add to its existing Northland team of about 120 staff.

But he would not say how many new workers it would need to cope with the council contract.

He said ENL's 18 staff did a "wonderful job" and would be considered in the recruitment process.

Mr Taylor said careful consideration was being given to the enforcement team's branding - uniforms would likely include some of Armourguard's traditional navy and some fluoro.

- Northern Advocate

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