Agency denies ‘success fee’

NZTA replies to the story, 'Concerns caused by Auckland's East West Link success fee.'

We wish to correct the report, 'Success fee causes concern,' regarding the current East West Link project Board of Inquiry.

The use of the phrase “success fee” has been used incorrectly a number of times throughout the article and has created a false impression that expert witnesses will be paid a fee for a successful Board of Inquiry outcome.

This is not the case.

There are no arrangements as part of the contract for professional services to the East West Link Alliance that involve any form of bonus or incentive payment in respect of consents and approvals for the project.

The contract involves a “performance payment,” which is not a success fee. This payment is not determined by the outcome of the board of inquiry hearing and is designed to incentivise the Alliance’s performance against normal industry practice.

The article also creates the impression that the payment is somehow linked to the entire project cost and procurement of future stages. The evidence we have submitted to the board of inquiry clearly states that this is not the case.

The article states that evidence from Amelia Linzey says that “none of the KRAs or KPIs are related to the successful outcome of the board of inquiry,” yet your story repeatedly implies the contrary.

It is disappointing that you did not seek to clarify your understanding with the NZ Transport Agency or provide the NZ Transport Agency with a right of reply, which resulted in unbalanced reporting.

Sarah Azam is media manager of the NZ Transport Agency