Christchurch earthquake - infrastructure rebuild

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Posted by APM on 25th Apr 2012

The April event was held at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club on 17 April 2012. The presentation entitled Christchurch earthquake: infrastructure rebuild Lessons for major projects and programs from Christchurch infrastructure rebuild (circa US$2bn) was made by Mr. Andrew Hutchinson. It was attended by 44 members and guests.

Mr. Andrew Hutchinson is the founder and Managing Director of Alchimie Pty Ltd., a management consultancy specialising in strategic facilitation of organisations and of major infrastructure projects. He is a strategic facilitator and high performance coach of considerable experience and reputation in Australia and Asia. The consultancy firm has been involved in the Christchurch infrastructure rebuild since March 2010. Andrew was specifically tasked by the New Zealand Government to facilitate and provide strategic advice on the establishment of the alliance and its unique commercial framework.

From September 2010 through December 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand, was rocked by four major earthquakes. There were over 10,000 quakes or aftershocks with 40 of them greater than factor 5. The February 22nd 2011 earthquake claimed 187 lives. Andrew and his team are now in strategic partnership with the board and Executive General Manager of the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) to facilitate and coach the organisation to achieve on-going high performance in a challenging psychological and physical context.

The video shown at the beginning highlighted the massive destruction of the earthquake, the severe liquefaction and the red zone streets, in particular. The mounted infrastructures, including water reticulation, sewers, sewer pump stations, roads, bridges, etc. were estimated at a repair/replacement cost of $2,000 million at the April 2011 price level. The solution is to deliver program spend of $400 million per annum. The rebuild effort is a massive logistical challenge, using an alliance delivery model, which consists of three client organisations, five contractor organisations and designers engaged external to the alliance agreement.

Another video presentedwas entitled the first followers. Being public, leaders need a gut to be the first person to join the work force, and they should be easy to follow. There is no question that no movement can be made without the first follower. That is why we need someone to be the first follower, precisely the high-performance leadership, for success. Note the Infrastructure Rebuild Management Office (IRMO) was established after 4th September 2010.SCIRT first followers was formed in response to the increased scope on 4th May 2011 (the Interim Alliance Agreement signed). Subsequently, the IRMO was transferred to SCIRT (31st August 2011 Alliance Agreement signed).

Given the dynamic scope with on-going seismic events and commercial and team mobilisation, strategies have been innovative and deliberate. The model adopts a three-level value approach: strategic, tactical and efficiency (one of the key result areas (KRAs) of economy, effectiveness and efficiency). It also uses a parallel process of ongoing assessment of network condition, and the project life cycle - project definition, concept, detailed design, construction and handover. Strategic involves a master plan for all infrastructure which accounts for current services and those of the future taking into account of the new work (the economy). Tactical refers to the prioritized and flexible order of rebuilding at the right time to avoid rework (the effectiveness). Efficiency ensures that input costs remain within budget (the efficiency). To achieve KRAs, it is necessary to focus on measurable targets and achievable outcomes. The noble purpose is Creating resilient infrastructure that gives people security and confidence in the future of Christchurch.

Andrew firmly believed the rebuild was clearly game changing. He further suggested four huge challenges ahead for creating a new city: 1. Ramp up to and sustaining $40 million per month, 2. Resourcing problems, including accommodation, 3. Achieving the best value for money spent, and 4. Wellbeing of the team and the community. Finally, Andrew advised the project managers to put self-interest aside and they should put passion and determination in place to achieve project goals.

Posted in Hong Kong
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