Industry Update: Auckland Zoo’s biggest-ever project is coming to life!

Auckland Zoo biggest project ever

With our track-record for completing audits on small to large infrastructure projects, our team of assurance specialists are always keeping an eye on some of the most exciting local and international industry updates. The Auckland Zoo’s project is one that we have loved reading about in November.

The most ambitious development ever undertaken at Auckland Zoo is already winning awards, and with new sections under construction now, it will be a must-see attraction as soon as it reopens. The South-East Asia Jungle Track is a $60 million project that encompasses a new café and high canopy (opened late last year) plus a soon-to-be opened lowlands tiger habitat and a tropical dome ‘swamp forest’.

Although the project faced some delays due to the recent lockdown restrictions, construction on the lowlands and swamp forest areas restarted under level 3. The new 35m boardwalk should be ready to go by Christmas. Once complete, the lowlands area will house the new Sumatran tigers due to arrive in 2022, as well as an adjoining otter habitat. The swamp forest will provide a climate-controlled ecosystem for crocodiles, fish, turtles and tortoises.

You can see photos of the work underway here, or read about how the already completed high canopy habitat recently won a prestigious Australian award for innovative design that advances animal welfare.

It’s wonderful to see projects that highlight the importance to protect species and improve animals’ wellbeing by  educating the next generation about conservation and sustainability.

Major projects, such as this development at Auckland Zoo, carry a lot of complexity. Here at IMA Services, our team of experienced quality assurance auditors can reduce extra costs and assist to keep projects within budget by providing the clarity needed to make well-informed decisions. 

Want to know more? Get in touch with us today.

Why we love the Alliance Model

Alliance Model for Infrastructure

When you want to deliver projects with significant risk and scope uncertainty, and you need a flexible approach, the alliance model is ideal.

It starts with construction and design partners being selected on capability and attitude, without any direct competition on price. Then with all the partners on board, they can work.

Alliancing provides multi-disciplinary synergies between an infrastructure agency, a contractor and a designer. Together,  they can come up with ‘best for project’ solutions by sharing the risks while simultaneously rewarding innovation and performance.

Alliances have been used successfully in the public sector for many years – they are a proven and productive tool for building modern infrastructure. Working in an alliance also gives people and businesses the opportunity to broaden their management capabilities.

By fostering a fresh industry dynamic between the participants, alliancing makes our businesses more productive and more innovative.  If you’re interested in understanding more about the alliance model and how to manage it, chat to one of our team who knows all about how it works.

The SkyPath to link the CBD to the North Shore

SkyPath Project Auckland

Auckland’s proposed SkyPath will be a 5m wide pedestrian and cycle bridge running underneath the Harbour Bridge. Yes, it’s expensive. But it’s going to be fabulous. It will allow people on the North Shore to commute to town on their bikes, and be a major drawcard for future international and local tourists.

Building it will be complex and potentially risky. Because it will use the Alliance model, the construction process will involve lots of experts bringing their ideas to the project, and sharing the risk between them. Hopefully, that will mean innovations and experience to keep workers safe as they operate four or five metres above the sea. At that height, there are lots of variables, and safety will be a prime consideration.

Provided we can keep everybody safe during the construction, the SkyPath should be a stunning feature for New Zealand’s largest city. We are looking forward to seeing it come to life!

How Infrastructure Projects Boost Recovery

Infrastructure Investment | IMA Services Blog

With our borders beginning to reopen, 2021 is set to be a year of bumper economic growth for New Zealand. 


One area where an enormous sum of cash is being splashed: infrastructure investment. It might seem as though a new roundabout is the last thing anyone needs in a health crisis, and it’s pretty infuriating when you’re stuck in traffic, but infrastructure spending is a powerful tool for economic recovery. Within a decade, every dollar spent on infrastructure generates around $2.70 in returns, according to S&P calculations cited here


Infrastructure stimulus helps recovery by: 

  • Creating jobs for a wide range of industries, from labourers to lawyers. For every $1 billion spent, infrastructure projects can create up to 10,000 jobs.
  • Targeting spending for specific places, using local workers and boosting a town or part of a city.
  • Improving efficiency by making it easier to work and travel around New Zealand, or boosting digital connectivity. 
  • Making the nation more sustainable by supporting clean energy sources and energy-efficient outcomes. 
  • Addressing problems that need solving or mitigating, like flood risks from climate change and the housing shortage. 
  • Building assets that support New Zealand’s future growth. While direct cash stimulus has a part to play in recovery, wage subsidy money is largely spent or saved. Constructing a new water treatment plant or train station leaves behind long-term assets that improve our lives. 


To get the maximum benefit from infrastructure spending, projects need to be well-managed. They must deliver measurable results in a timely way, and the assets created need to live up to what they promised. Infrastructure projects that run wildly over time are a problem. Even worse are failed projects – those with such serious problems that they can’t be used for their intended purpose. The disastrous Berlin Brandenburg airport is a perfect example, although at least it’s finally getting some use. This is just more evidence in support of that old industry saying: ‘Every dollar you spend in planning saves two dollars later on. 


Well-planned and well-executed projects will help economic recovery in the short term, and in the long term, they help New Zealand thrive as a place to live and work. Try to bear that in mind when the road works are holding you up again!

Excited to Help Porirua Grow

Porirua Development Independent Auditor

IMA Services has been appointed by Kainga Ora as the independent auditor on the Porirua Development.

We’re thrilled to be part of this huge alliance, helping to create better homes and great neighbourhoods in this fast-growing area. This is just one of the outstanding kiwi infrastructure projects that we know will help boost economic recovery in 2021.

We’re looking forward to meeting everyone involved, talking to the community and working toward some fantastic outcomes for residents and business owners in Porirua.