Yardstick Update - November '17

In 2011, NZRA and Xyst developed a set of categories for the management and maintenance of parks and open space. Yardstick Parks Benchmarks has been measuring the uptake and application of these categories amongst member organisations for at least five years. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of Yardstick members using the NZRA categories (fully or partially) has increased from 42% to 79%. In 2014, 23% of members didn’t use the categories and had no intention of using them. This has dropped to 12.5% in 2017.

The main reasons given for not using the NZRA categories are that the category names don’t easily fit existing category types. Earlier this year, the NZRA Parks Categories were reviewed by Xyst. The basic framework was found to be quite sound, and as a result the categories have remained very much the same as in 2011. What has changed is that the definitions have been made much clearer, and alternative names have been suggested. It is anticipated that this will assist the matching of the NZRA categories to alternative categories that some Councils may still be using.

Yardstick also shows that the median level of provision of sports and recreation parks has remained remarkably stable at between 2.6 and 2.8 hectares per 1000 residents since 2014. Sports and recreation parks comprise around 15% of total parks provision. For the same period, the median provision of neighbourhood parks is 0.7 to 0.9 ha/1000 residents, or around 5% of total parks provision.

Nature parks seem to comprise the largest area of park land, with medians since 2014 averaging 4.7ha/1000, or around 43% of total parks provision. This is good news for Councils as Yardstick shows that the median operating cost per hectare for natural areas is only around $400 per annum compared with around $7,500 per annum for actively maintained park land.

Do you know how much you are spending on your parks operational maintenance? Do you want to find out? If you aren’t a member yet, and would like to benchmark your facility’s performance against other facilities around New Zealand, Australia and Canada, it’s not too late to join. Just contact us at https://www.yardstickglobal.org/

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