ICN helps secure $2m of NZ goods for Wairarapa hospital

Assistance from the Industry Capability Network (ICN) made the difficult job of overseeing the building and fit out of the new Wairarapa Hospital a little easier while simultaneously creating new business for New Zealand companies.

Wairarapa District Health Board building and property manager Peter Clayton had a specific brief to be involved in the design and construction of the $30 million hospital which took a year to build and was opened in 2006.

Mr Clayton said the project was a lot more difficult than just making sure the building itself went up on time.

"It wasnt only a matter of finishing the new building, there was also all of the new clinical and mechanical equipment. Some of that is obvious but some of it is quite obscure, he said.

"There are some items which are quite easy to source and then there are the others that arent so. Thats where ICNs help came in for us.

ICN Health Procurement Advisor Ian Mallett worked with the Wairarapa District Health Board to try and maximise the use of locally produced goods during the rebuild and fit out.

Mr Mallett said while much of the construction material was always going to be sourced locally, the ICN was able to suggest and put forward local companies and products which helped ensure $2 million in goods produced by Kiwi companies that could otherwise be imported were used in the project.

The ICN was able to find small Kiwi companies working in niche areas which had the capability to deliver products the health board required. ICN also helped reduce problems by working closely with manufacturers to ensure they understood exactly what was required.

For example Mr Clayton believed he would have to wait several months for specialist heliport lights to be imported from France at a cost of between $700 and $800 each but Mr Mallett identified a company in Auckland which delivered the lights earlier and at a more attractive $500 each.

Other products sourced locally instead of being imported included the nurse call system which was manufactured by Wellington firm Miracle Electronics, washer sanitizers for the wards and mortuary equipment such as specialist refrigerators.

The benefits of buying locally made goods included easier servicing and having products tailor made to the hospitals requirements, Mr Clayton said.

The Wairarapa Hospital, which provides 92 beds and has a full range of secondary care services, may be used as a template for other smaller hospitals around New Zealand.