Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Carpet firm lays complaint over $960k council contract

The company was told the contract wasn't put out to tender because of time constraints. Photo / Thinkstock
The company was told the contract wasn't put out to tender because of time constraints. Photo / Thinkstock

Carpet manufacturer Godfrey Hirst has complained to the Auditor-General that a $960,000 contract to carpet the Auckland Council's new $157 million headquarters was not put out to tender.

The Wiri-based company was rejected for the job of providing 24,000sq m of carpet tiles, which it says it could have done for $684,000, or $276,000 less than the contract awarded to rival flooring firm Jacobsen. The council says Godfrey Hirst was considered but it did not have a suitable product.

The contract was awarded by interior design firm Creative Spaces, which is involved in fitting out the former ASB Bank Centre at Albert St to house about 2400 council staff.

A spokesman for Godfrey Hirst said the company had regularly contacted Creative Spaces and the council since March expressing interest in the contract.

The company was told the contract wasn't put out to tender because of time constraints, and it was not considered because it couldn't supply rectangular carpet tiles "when in fact we could", the spokesman said.

"It's outrageous. We are really pissed, to be honest," the spokesman said.

Council chief executive Doug McKay and Mayor Len Brown said yesterday in a written statement that the appropriate procurement process was followed and Godfrey Hirst was considered for the contract but did not have a product that met the requirements of the job.

Mr McKay - responsible for a $24.5 million fit-out of the ASB building - would not confirm Godfrey Hirst's assertion there was no tender for the contract, if the process had followed council guidelines and whether other contracts for the fit-out were put out to tender.

Mr McKay and Mr Brown, who had met with Godfrey Hirst representatives, said they would provide any information required by the Auditor-General.

A spokesman for the Auditor-General confirmed a complaint had been received and an inquiry was being considered.

Andrew Tu'inukuafe, a director for Creative Spaces, said he couldn't comment under the terms of his contract with the council. Jacobsen managing director Mark von Batenburg could not be reached for comment.

The case

*Godfrey Hirst complains to Auditor-General after missing out on lucrative carpet contract
*Contract awarded to rival firm Jacobsen for $960,000
*Godfrey Hirst says it could do job for $684,000

- NZ Herald

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