Around the Mountains Cycle Trail review report

The Deloitte report into the management of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail project has been completed.

The report is critical of both the governance and management processes around the trail project and says the $8 million budget was poorly constructed and did not recognise the need for contingencies or the risks that could affect the project.

Key failures include:

  • Lack of adequate financial reporting
  • Poor project management practices
  • Shortage of the skills needed to manage the project
  • Failure to pro-actively manage the project risks

Southland District Council chief executive Steve Ruru said there have been mistakes made in the management of this project and Council should have done better.

“Council seems to have become so engrossed in trying to make the cycle trail happen that it has forgotten to follow some basic project management disciplines,” Mr Ruru said.

Mayor Gary Tong said he believed the intentions of those concerned were always to make the project a success for Southland and to keep the costs down.

“However, many of the risks that could have happened, such as Environment Court appeals on the consent and property access issues, have happened and the costs have ballooned,” Mr Tong said.

Even before the review, Council had already recognised the need to strengthen its in-house governance, project management and financial management processes. The role of the APAC committee has been broadened to include risk management, internal audit and financial management and the procurement and project management processes are being worked on at present.

A separate project governance committee has been established as well.

“Council takes responsibility for the errors made and we have learnt from them,” Mr Tong said.

Staff have been asked to develop an action plan to ensure the lessons learnt from this review are implemented.

Council commissioned the review earlier this year after it identified the projected cost of the trail had increased to more than $14 million.

Download the report here [PDF, 836 KB]