NZ Blood Service to develop major new facility in Christchurch

The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is to partner with Ngāi Tahu Property to develop a major new facility on Christchurch’s old Addington Railway Workshops site.

The layout and size of the new Christchurch facility will enable the Blood Service to keep pace with collection and manufacturing demands, technology changes and increasing regulatory expectations.

The new blood centre will have space for additional donor beds, which are needed to meet the increasing demand for plasma.  It will provide a more comfortable environment for the very loyal group of donors in Christchurch and will enable them to donate more often. It will also allow space for new donors when they are needed to meet demand.

NZBS Chief Executive Fiona Ritsma says, “The new facility is very important to the long term future of NZBS and to ensure the ongoing safety and security of the blood supply to the healthcare system throughout New Zealand.

“Inclusion of manufacturing and testing at the new facility means that the NZBS regional hub-site model for ensuring continuity of supply is maintained. This model was proven after the Christchurch earthquakes when the blood centre in Auckland was able to temporarily handle processing, testing and distribution of blood donations for the South Island”.

Mrs Ritsma is also very pleased with the partnership with Ngāi Tahu Property.

“The selection of the partner for this project is of particular importance to NZBS,” she says.

“The Blood Service identified Ngāi Tahu Property as an ideal long-term partner and landlord because they have a clearly stated purpose other than the motivation to drive profit. Ngāi Tahu Property understands the importance of community spirit and are in this for the long haul.”

Ngāi Tahu Property purchased the Addington Railway Workshops land in 1999 as a strategic asset.  Development of two significant Christchurch motor vehicle dealerships has already been undertaken on part of the site, on the opposite side of the Blenheim Road deviation.

“The proposed facility incorporates a number of very specialised elements to meet New Zealand Blood Service’s requirements,” says Tony Sewell, CE of Ngāi Tahu Property.

“Ngāi Tahu Property will bring to bear a wide range of expertise to partner with New Zealand Blood Service to deliver a facility that meets their current and future needs,” he says.

Ngāi Tahu Property is currently involved in a number of new projects that are foundational to the recovery of Christchurch following the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Paul Hayes, Marketing and Communications Manager

New Zealand Blood Service

0275 650 556

Peter Dwan

Chambers Strategy and Communication

021 888 290

 

BACKGROUND FACTS ABOUT THE PROJECT

What

New Zealand Blood Service is establishing a new facility on a vacant site at Lester Lane in Christchurch in partnership with Ngāi Tahu Property as developer and landlord. The facility continues with the co-location of Donor Services and the Manufacturing and Logistics functions as is the case with the current Christchurch facility and the other three NZBS hub sites in Auckland, Wellington and Waikato.

The building is to be a purpose designed facility comprised of a donor centre, manufacturing and testing laboratories along with specialised warehousing and support function offices.

Why

Since occupation of the current Riccarton Road Facility in 1998, there have been various reconfigurations to alleviate space constraints. The position has now been reached where the site’s capacity for further expansion, the seismic rating and weather tightness of the building, and the more problematic donor access since the earthquakes, add up to an unsustainable position, which dictates the requirement for relocation.

The layout and size of the current Christchurch facility represents an operational model that has failed to adequately keep pace with collection and manufacturing demands, technology changes and increasing regulatory expectations. A new facility will therefore represent a significant step change to appropriately allow for re-engineering of workflow principles, adoption of new technologies and address the significant space deficiencies for general and specialised product warehousing.

Where

In determining a suitable location for a combined Donor Centre / Manufacturing Facility, NZBS senior management in Christchurch and the NZBS Executive evaluated a number of potential sites were evaluated, some on the perimeter of the CBD and others at approximately a similar distance to Christchurch Hospital as the current Riccarton Road facility. A vacant site in Lester Lane owned by Ngāi Tahu Property was seen as the best available for the following reasons:

  • The location on the south western corner of Hagley Park provides good access to both Christchurch Hospital and to the airport.
  • The location is equally accessible for donors compared to the Riccarton Road facility, the majority of whom use personal transport to attend for donation.
  • Good public transport options for those donors who choose to use it within close proximity.
  • The site has a relatively sound geological survey comparative to the severely affected areas in Christchurch.
  • The “greenfield” construction provides for the building to be engineered using the revised building code seismic design principles that will be appropriate to the risk profile in Christchurch (rather than retro-fitting an existing building).
  • The development will be consistent with NZBS leasing of facilities rather than property ownership.
  • The development will follow the public-private partnership model that has been successful in Auckland with Dilworth Trust.
  • A partnership with Ngāi Tahu Property, as developer and landlord could provide opportunities for both NZBS and Ngāi Tahu to promote collaboration between Ngāi Tahu and the Crown and potentially raise the profile of NZBS amongst Māori.
  • Opportunity for design and build to NZBS specification as a turn-key solution.
  • Ability to maintain service continuity during the build and fit-out, with a phased occupation of the new facility.
  • Compatible with co-location of Donor Centre and Manufacturing Facility in prime retail and industrial location that retains operational synergies, maintains cohesive team and avoids duplication of resources.

When

Agreement has been reached between New Zealand Blood Service and Ngāi Tahu Property on this project and a formal agreement to construct and lease recording the transaction has been signed by both parties.

Commencement of construction is expected by July 2013, with a likely completion date by September 2014 and occupation by NZBS by January 2015.

Who

The landlord profile is of particular importance to NZBS

The now well established Auckland relationship with the Dilworth Trust Board has assisted NZBS in forming a view as to what key elements are ideally required for a strategic site landlord. The ideal key site landlord characteristics, while not exhaustive, have been identified as follows:

  • Operates a large commercial property portfolio that affords some scale and operational sophistication,
  • A larger property portfolio holding affords capacity for a mix of property yields across the portfolio without overt direct financial impact as would apply to a single or smaller property landlord,
  • Has a clear stated purpose other than an exclusive motivation to drive profit to the exclusion of other ‘softer’ considerations.
    • For the Auckland based Dilworth Trust Board that purpose is financial provision for the Dilworth School achieved through the prudent management of a commercial property portfolio.
    • For Ngāi Tahu Property that purpose is to provide financial support, via the prudent management of a commercial property portfolio, by way of a dividend to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu for disbursement within the wider Ngāi Tahu groups.

Both present as understanding the importance of having a sense of community spirit. This aligns with the value NZBS places on community spirit and its importance in securing each voluntary blood donation.

  • Prepared to commit to NZBS as a tenant in the knowledge the NZBS expectation is for a long term business relationship,
  • Has no intention, in the normal course of business, to actively trade the NZBS site and in doing so expose NZBS to a potential revolving door of landlords

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