Stadium steelwork. CST boys caught out in a lie?

Lo, with impeccable timing and courtesy this letter appears…

### ODT Saturday 17 Apr 2010 (p34)
Letters to the editor
Remarks demeaning to Dunedin companies
By John Whitaker, Chairman, Dunedin Engineering Cluster
I take serious objection to recent claims by both David Davies and Malcolm Farry, of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, that Dunedin firms were not capable of manufacturing the stadium roof. Both have claimed that the skills and capacity are simply not here in Dunedin and the work had to go outside the city. This is not the case and their comments are demeaning of local industry.

Read the full letter in print and digital editions of the Otago Daily Times.

ODT editor: [This letter was referred to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust but no reply has been received.]

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Project management, Stadiums

15 responses to “Stadium steelwork. CST boys caught out in a lie?

  1. Elizabeth

    Here’s one example of what John Whitaker is talking about:

    (via ODT Online)
    11.2.10 Columns for Stadium due tomorrow
    Mr Davies said the fabrication of the twin columns was being carried out in Auckland because no Dunedin firm could do the work.
    “We don’t have the technology down here to be able to fabricate them.
    “They are a specialised piece of kit.
    “It’s to do, essentially, with where the skill set is . . . and it’s with genuine regret that that is the case.”


    Related Post:
    11.2.10 Stadium construction on track

  2. wirehunt

    What a complete and utter load of rubbish!!!!!!!!!

    You lot don’t have much in the way of ideas do you? Mr Davies has no idea what we are capable of down here. And what does Farry know about engineering down here? Sweet FA! Otherwise he would know that this is low grade work. The reason it went north? Price. And even then I do not believe they even gave the local companies a fair crack at it.

    I will give you a tip, this is very basic. As for skill set, Jesus. Does this person have any idea on the labour pool down here?? After reading that statement it tells me an awful lot about his skill set. Can I assume that the whole thing is being built to ASME lX? As it should be…

    {ASME IX (Welding)
    There are currently more than 600 codes and standards for the engineering profession, the public, industry and government published by ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), a non-profit organisation. -Eds}

  3. wirehunt

    Also Mr Davies said a straight out lie in that piece. What about the roof structure that is being done in Christchurch??

    You are using a structural steel company to do a piping job.

    If you are going to say straight out and out lies then do your research please.

    Apart from the branch welds the whole lot is being done in rotators; I can teach a 6 month apprentice how to weld that. Yes I was talking to one of the fitters doing the job. His words “low class work”. But we all know that already. So who is pissing in who’s pocket here????

    Oh, and what has been done about the guys getting busted smoking pot on the job?? You happy with that??

  4. Anonymous

    Don’t hold back. Talk about the multiple design faults being discovered with the steelwork on assembly. The ones that none of the onsite contractors will accept responsibility or rework charges for.

  5. Johnson

    Perhaps those involved in the design and fabrication of the structure aren’t mere welders with a unit standard in pipe welding, but are actually university educated, chartered and qualified structural engineers? A six month apprentice is clearly not the appropriate tradesman to assign to a job like this for the simple fact that a failure of quality of any kind will cause a failure of the structure and endanger lives, I would have thought that would be obvious. Did you ever consider that the details and nature of the structural complexity may have been a skill that is not present and available in Dunedin at a cost that is sustainable for the project, and indeed beyond the musings of a mere tradesman? It is a fixed price contract, so do you expect any extra cost incurred by using a more expensive Dunedin firm would be tolerated by the moaning minority we have in Dunedin? Just a thought.

    {Johnson – the second last sentence of your comment, concerning defamation, has been deleted. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      The matter has been referred to the site owner for consideration. What if? is in the domain of publishing honest opinion. Honest opinion should not be inferred or construed as defamation. Thank you, Johnson. No doubt we will have more to say. -Eds

  6. wirehunt – not sure where you get the idea that the structural steel for the stadium is ‘pipe work’, that aside, I’d prefer it if you left the hearsay out of your comments – I’m a little sick to death of folk using this site to repeat hearsay and letting me get it in the neck from lawyers. You have a blog if you want to repeat such gossip, perhaps you could use that for unsubstantiated comments.

    If someone was found to have been doing illegal activities at the stadium site, then I’d assume like any workplace, that it was dealt with. Further, what they may or may not have done on site is irrespective of private or public ownership of the stadium.

  7. Phil

    Possibly one of the determining factors was that the local structural steel companies (and there are some very skilled companies in Dunedin) did not have sufficiently qualified (ticketed) workers to carry out all the structural steel work that was required, within the timeframe required. Is that not possible? It is also possible that the local companies did not have sufficient off site assembly space necessary for a structure of that size. Do we know that none of the local companies were invited to tender or to submit a registration of interest? We can speculate, but I haven’t seen any of the local structural steel contractors coming out publicly to say that they haven’t had the opportunity to be part of the process. Surely they would know better than the rest of us.

    Bit of a stretch to compare pipe fitters with structural steel welders.

  8. wirehunt

    Johnson, don’t take what I said out of context and twist it, nice try though. I said I could train a six month apprentice to weld to the quality being used. Rotators and MIG guns are not rocket science. As I was talking to Davies about saying the skill set is not in Dunedin.
    To use that setup there is no skill set needed. In fact I could, assuming you have some hand eye going on, teach you to weld to a structural standard in well under a week.

    Do you yourself come from jafa land? You seem to have no idea of who does what down here. Also, the companies I have spoken to never heard anything about the contract…….

    Paul, I never said at the stadium site, I did however say on the job. There is more than one place this stadium is being built at.
    Now if you want to get right into it, what about council’s ‘duty of care’? At the end of the day the buck is MEANT to stop there.

    So this is being built with UB and UC etc then? Not 18 inch pipe + – ?

    Phil, we also do know that the workshop in Christchurch is using subbies from the North Island. They don’t care where the job is, a motel is a motel, just the city changes.

    Umm Phil, 98% of pipe fitters are also pipe welders, or have been pipe welders, normally the eyes go.
    Structural steel welders grow up to work with pipe ;)

    There are not too many places in NZ that have workshops with 100 tonne overhead cranes, around, hmm, 150 metres long, two bays the same size side by side.

  9. Johnson

    I take it from what you have said that “welding” in all its forms is clearly not too difficult and to ‘weld to a structural standard’ is a somewhat simple affair. If this is so, why on earth is it deemed a trade, and not just some home handyman skill that anyone can pick up? In fact, why don’t we all get a week’s worth of training from Wirehunt and all chip in and finish the Stadium a little bit earlier? Or perhaps this is really not the case at all, and someone is drawing a VERY long bow.

  10. wirehunt

    Excellent, I’m pleased I said structural and particularly pipe welding is a “simple affair”. Oh wait, I NEVER said that.
    However I did say the process being used with rotators and MIG guns is. Also, “To use that setup there is no skill set needed” which is what I did in fact say. Maybe I should have said “…..there is no special skill set needed……”

    You don’t believe in facts to much do you Johnson? But I see you just want to twist thing’s a lot. Are you trying to hide something may I ask?

  11. Johnson

    Have no fear my fine welding friend, I’m just trying to point out that to state someone is a “liar” as you are wont to do with those who have experienced trying to get suitable tenderers for the Stadium, you must yourself base your opinion on facts and not gross generalisations…..or did you not state that people were “saying lies”? BTW it should be “telling lies”, it’s much better grammar.

  12. wirehunt

    In that case, just who is telling lies?
    Another company has been drafted in at Christchurch to try and make up for lost ground. Yet the report in the link above says all is good in the world and we’re not running behind, well maybe a couple of weeks…..

  13. Johnson

    No-one is telling lies. Its just a lack of understanding of Project Management causing this angst. For those of us who have been involved and managed major projects, the timeline is a movable feast, with the one proviso that the completion date needs to be met within budget. The client, again in my experience, cares not for the musings of the uninformed, only that the job will be done. Using a Project GANTT system and related resources means that critical path analysis is the most important thing in manainting the timeline. Anything that doesn’t directly contribute to the critical path can be moved forward or back within the constraints of the project and in a logical fashion. It does not matter if you bring in extra resources beacause contingency time and finance is always built into project budgets. If this is not done, then the slightest delay will cause the project to fail like a house of cards. As this project is being designed, built and managed by Professionals, I can guarantee that this is the case. Micro-managing the small things is ok if you’re welding a tank for a couple of hours, but design and construct projects such as this like this require a tad more thought and a professional, strategic and “big picture” view. So really “telling lies” doesn’t come into it. I would put it to you that if you were late getting a job completed or late with anything you intended to complete, you wouldn’t consider that you lied about the completion date, there would be extraeneous factors beyond your control you would cite as the reasons.

  14. Stu

    This is the steelwork under discussion:

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