Xyst was engaged by Mackenzie DC to conduct a wide-ranging review relating to parks, recreation and property including seasonal pools, trails, signage and tree maintenance, cemetery operations, playground and skatepark inspections and audits, reserve capital projects, asset management planning and parks maintenance contracts. Extensive onsite visits, inspections and assessments were carried out to scope and produce priorities for policy and strategy development.
Using the benchmarking tool, Yardstick, we compared overall best practice of the Council’s parks and recreation services with those of other NZ councils. We highlighted health and safety concerns associated to the condition of trees and disused buildings, and play areas where a number of old vehicles and machinery had been used (and since removed) which then also raised issues about compliance to current standards and maintenance programmes.
Our reports raised many areas of concern which needed to be prioritised, including the lack of a current Asset Register, and Council was immediately proactive in implementing some recommended actions and looking at long-term improvement. A Stuff article appeared shortly after our report was tabled at a Council meeting, in which Mayor Graham Smith acknowledged the shortcomings and obligations, and their willingness to improve.