Politicians tackle LINZ delay as $95m project hits likely 5-month snag

A likely five-month delay in delivering a core component of the $95 million Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) project is being referred back to a sub-committee of government ministers.

A likely five-month delay in delivering a core component of the $95 million Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) project is being referred back to a sub-committee of government ministers.

LINZ, formerly part of the Department of Survey and Land Information, is considering its options after allowing for a six-week delay in delivery of the system for automating the processing of survey plans and titles transactions, and will report them to the sub-committee — of John Luxton, Maurice Williamson and Bill Birch — early next month.

LINZ Landonline communications manager Iain MacLean says there are options available to the organisation. “We have to go to the ministers now and say ‘this is the situation’.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers designed the system, which will eventually handle seven million titles. It uses an Informix database.

“[They] have told us, as a result of having to redesign parts of the system, the construction project will take longer than originally estimated,” LINZ chief executive Russ Ballard says in a media statement. “At this stage, we are analysing the implications for the whole project. Any extension to the construction project, and any increase in the cost that might cause, will have to be considered by [the] ministers next month.”

He says the economic benefits of the project are still large, and the likely extension to the time for completing the project has happened early enough to minimise unnecessory effort and expense.

MacLean confirms industry rumours of a five-month delay. “It’s in that ball park”, he says.” Everyone had signed off on the construction side but when it came to the physicalisation [sic], it proved harder.” He says the project is otherwise going well.

Completion is scheduled for early 2001.

LINZ is currently evaluating tenders for the conversion of titles. Four groups have responded: EDS, Datamail, Australian company The Data Centre and an HDS consortium which includes Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner, and Indian software giant Tata.

While PWC has the contract to develop the software, EDS, which won the facilities management contract, has an overseer role. The project incorporates 19 sub-systems.

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