Kate Chivers

Resource Management Planner
New Zealand

Te Ahu a Turanga is the first Waka Kotahi project to undergo ISCA, a comprehensive sustainability system that has required a commitment from the entire team to perform well.

ISCA is Australia and New Zealand’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across the planning, design, construction and operational phases of infrastructure programs, projects, networks and assets.

Kate is responsible for integrating sustainability and ISCA throughout the project, supporting and advocating sustainable outcomes for the duration of the project, and overall ensuring an IS Rating is achieved. She is supported in this by Dr Rowan Dixon, who focuses on key sustainable outcomes, such as climate change reporting and building base cases, in order to show measured reduction in energy, material and water consumption, and waste creation.

As a result of a strong commitment by the Alliance to achieving an ISCA rating, Te Ahu a Turanga is projected to exceed the Commended certification and receive an Excellent rating.

Kate says this ground-breaking achievement in sustainability has been attained through embedding sustainable decision making into procurement and reporting on live ISCA data as to how the project is tracking.

This, she says, has required bringing the industry on the ISCA journey. Education of suppliers and subcontractors on the new expectations has been key as they need to provide data on materials, have environmental and sustainability plans and policies and approaches, and the value of supporting and employing local.

Qualitative assessment of tenders has included requiring a minimum of 21% coming from non-price attributes. High risk social and environmental packages have been assessed against a required evaluation of the tender’s proposal and organisation in

  • Sustainable management
  • Local Employment
  • Social & training
  • Resource Efficiency

In addition, real live tracking of material, fuel, water consumption and waste creation has enabled consistent consideration of the impact decisions have on these targets.
Kate says that the culture of the Alliance is something she’s never experienced before.

“It’s a phenomenal culture to be part of and is really lead from the top down and reciprocated from the bottom up.

I’ve been impressed by the way the Alliance has engaged with and contributed towards the ISCA rating. Often there is a level of resistance towards this type of thing, but the level of involvement – and the success we’re achieving for the project – is inspiring.”

As a result, Kate says the project is delivering incredible outcomes in iwi partnership, ecology, stakeholder engagement, broader social outcomes, and impressive utilisation of site-won materials.

“All these elements align with a really great ISCA score, allowing the project to not only be the first Waka Kotahi project to undertake ISCA, but also set a remarkable benchmark for future Waka Kotahi projects.”

Success on Te Ahu a Turanga will be transferable to ISCA implementation on other roading programs. Kate says templates and systems have been built that will allow even better outcomes for the next project.

“At the core of sustainability is continued improvement, for the next project I would hope to see greater reduction on the energy, water, materials, and waste footprints.”