Hawkins achieves practical completion on Forsyth Barr Stadium

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Hawkins were the main contractors for the $190m state-of-the-art stadium, and were awarded the contract to build it in April 2009.
In reaching practical completion last month, the company successfully delivered on its promise to complete the facility on time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
“This was a high-risk assignment, with an extremely tight time period in which we had to deliver,” Hawkins chief executive Chris Hunter says.

Although Hawkins’ contact time frame was 24 months, the critical path was really 18 months in order to get enough of the stadium completed in order to start the grass growing on the stadium turf.
“When we signed up to this project, the design had yet to be completed, and we effectively exposed ourselves to a number of extraordinary risks that most other construction contractors would never touch,” he says.

“The fact that Hawkins obtained practical completion earlier than our contractual requirements, and to budget, has reinforced our credentials in being able to deliver large and complex projects efficiently, to a very high standard, using highly creative thinking.
“If you compare this project to the Eden Park redevelopment, which had the luxury of a 2.5 year construction window, a design completed prior to construction, and better access to materials and a skilled local labour force, then the scale of our achievement becomes all the more satisfying” Mr Hunter says.

Despite the public and internal pressure to deliver the stadium safely and on time, the Hawkins team have thrived on this once-in-a-lifetime project.
“We have been watched very closely, both locally and all over the world, given the cut-throat deadline, the political sensitivities, and the unique nature of the stadium’s design and construction methodology.

“From that perspective. it has been a source of pride to see how well our project team has responded to the pressure.
“This project has brought together many great individuals into an effective team environment, and has been superbly led. Each one has performed a superhuman effort in my opinion, and I can’t emphasise enough how dedicated the team has been in delivering Hawkins’ promise to the people of Dunedin.”

Hawkins’ infrastructure division was also contracted to deliver the SH88 relocation project on behalf of the Dunedin City Council and NZTA. This project, adjacent to the stadium construction, required 1.5km of new highway and a new three-span bridge to be constructed through an existing industrial area, and was brought together by more than 2km of footpaths and cycleways which joined into the Otago University campus and existing habourside links. 

The Forsyth Barr Stadium was formally opened in an official ceremony by Prime Minister John Key on Friday, August 5.