Scope of the project
In consultation with a sector wide working group made up of both councils and contractors, Xyst has lead the development of standard specifications for typical parks and open space service delivery. While councils are likely to be the primary users, the specifications are available to and of value to any owners or managers of open spaces such as schools, rest homes, correctional facilities, defence force bases, hospitals and road side areas. The specifications are applicable to a range of service delivery models, providing a library of standard tasks and actions suitable for all service levels. The specifications include known and accepted standards of maintenance, so will not be guilty of yet again reinventing the wheel.
Standard specifications will provide time and cost savings both for council personnel drafting contracts and contractors tendering for contracts and delivering services. Consistent application and understanding of service standards will ensure all parties have realistic expectations. Making the resource available free of charge will hopefully ensure a wide uptake across the country. The contractors who have contributed so willingly and openly to the development of the specifications will know and understand with certainty what level of service is actually required and be able to price this more accurately and efficiently.
Levels of Service
Much thought has been given to how as a sector we should deal with different levels of service. Most of the specifications will have at least three service levels to cover standards of maintenance or service delivery from basic to premium. For certain types of assets we have identified that there simply is only one level of service applicable. As an example rose gardens and annual bedding have only one standard of service. For other assets where various levels of service can be applied and chosen by the specifier, a service level is indicated by a star rating system similar to hotel ratings for ease of understanding by the infrequent user.
The National Open Space Specification document is available directly from Xyst or the NZ Recreation Association.