Parks Operational Review

Maribyrnong City Council

Xyst worked with staff from the Parks and Open Spaces Maintenance Team, along with other departments, to understand how parks maintenance operations are currently performing and to understand any potential need for change, in order to meet the City’s future requirements and strategic goals. This review also sought to understand more about the outputs and […]

Whangārei Aquatic Centre Asset Management Practices Review

Whangarei District Council

Xyst supported Smartz in its review of the pool that is operated by Sport Northland and CLM, by providing the asset management element of the project. The Review was commissioned by Whangārei District Council (WDC) with support from Sport Northland, and in liaison with Community Leisure Management (CLM). The review was not a formal full-service […]

Parks Operations Business Improvement Review

Xyst staff initially carried out a desktop analysis of existing documents relating to service levels, service standards, budgets, customer feedback, asset management plans and strategic plans. A total of 22 parks were assessed by scoring of a range of criteria based on typical industry standards. The identification of current operational costs and asset provision to […]

Ashburton District Tree Inventory

Xyst collected tree data on all of Ashburton District Council’s (ADC) street and park trees including GPS location, species, maturity, condition and potential risk features. We used a data collection tool developed by ADC that enabled us to upload tree data directly into the Council’s GIS system. Data collection took place over several visits timed […]

Township Contract Performance Auditing

Xyst designed a specialized tool for the Mackenzie District Council, leveraging the Safety Culture iAuditor platform. This tailored solution facilitates the inspection of areas maintained under the Council’s Township Maintenance Contract. Utilising this platform, Xyst conducts monthly inspections of Reserves and Public Spaces, ensuring adherence to the Council’s Townships Contract. The tool incorporates specific questions, […]

Service Delivery Options

Timaru District Council

Xyst were engaged at short notice to undertake a comprehensive cost comparison of out-sourced maintenance versus in-house operations. The analysis included a 10 year whole of life cost analysis and considered a wide range of operational, organisational and cultural issues to inform Council’s decision making processes.

Waipa Development Levels of Service

Waipa District Council

As a result of gap’s identified in the preparation of Waipa’s Asset Management Plans, Xyst was engaged to prepare a parks hierarchy detailed development levels of service.

Asset Management Plan Peer Review

Xyst undertook a peer review of the Bay Venues Limited Asset Management Plan (2024-2027) structure and approach and provided an insight as to whether it meets best practice, identifying areas which are positive or which could be considered for improvement.

Kaiapoi Community Hub Project Management

Waimakariri District Council

The Kaiapoi Community Hub is a complex programme of works located in the red zone area within Waimakariri as a result of the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The project aims to provide a home for numerous community organisations. We assisted with budget tracking, timeline management, land negotiations and stakeholder engagement for the first stage of the […]

Asset Management Plan

Project included asset management maturity assessment, development of levels of service framework and risk assessment

Open Space Level of Service Review

The outputs included: Review current Open Space category hierarchy and identify options for improvements Performance assessment of a range of parks across the municipality Undertake a user survey of a range of parks across the municipality Preparation of development levels of service for each of the Open Space Recreation Park categories (T1 – T5) including […]

Review of Contract Structure for Service Delivery

Marlborough District Council

Marlborough District Council manages 1,171 hectares of open space and some 20,000 trees, including 6,500 individual street trees. The physical works associated with the maintenance of this asset was undertaken by a specialist in-house amenity horticulture team and three main contractors, split over seven contracts. Xyst reviewed the structure of contracts, including the number of […]

Donovan Nursery Review

Invercargill City Council

After conducting a thorough review of the information provided by Invercargill City Council (ICC), Xyst went through a comprehensive evaluation of the operational and financial viability of Donovan Nursery. As a result of this review certain areas for improvement were identified in stock management, productivity, systems management, and financial management. These findings will help ICC […]

Contracts and Specifications Review

Xyst worked to facilitate a series of tasks that have a focus on operational management of the portfolio of open space. This includes: project management and facilitation of a number of operational tasks developing contract specifications for open space maintenance considering the delivery approach for open space maintenance and how to approach the market, is […]

Review of Open Space Maintenance Delivery

Brimbank City Council

Xyst was engaged to review the Council’s service delivery, with the overall aim of ensuring the service is delivered effectively and efficiently and that it meets the needs and expectations of the community. We reviewed Council’s service delivery and prepared a report which identified the following: The true cost of delivering the service How the […]

Parks Service Unit Operational Review

Xyst worked closely with the unit to better understand the current state of their functions and services, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the current team resourced to deliver them. Also we worked to better understand the outputs and outcomes which Council and the community require from Council’s parks, open spaces and public facilities, and […]

Andy Smith

Andy Smith

I have over 30 years local government experience, holding a range of positions within community development, open space, recreation and sport and community assets portfolios. I was instrumental in developing the first Open Space and Sport Plan for the newly formed City of Onkaparinga in 1998 and for the last 25 years I have been […]

Open Spaces Service Delivery Review – Section 17A Local Government Act

The provision and maintenance of the open spaces in Ashburton district is currently delivered by an in-house team, which provides the full range of cemetery, parks and recreation, and public convenience services under the collective umbrella of “open space”. A service delivery review is a process of determining whether the existing means for delivering a […]

Glyphosate Use Review

Nelson City Council

Xyst captured and analysed glyphosate use across the various business units of the Council including Science and the Environment, Transport, Forestry, Utilities and Parks. We then compared this usage with results from the 2020 Use Review and conducted further research on glyphosate use and use reduction initiatives across other TAs and provided options for future […]

Track Asset Review

Undertook a detailed trail assessment of all Ruapehu District Council (RDC) managed trails using Xyst’s trail assessment system and against HB8630:2004. An individual assessment report has been prepared for every trail and this will include a complete assessment of all aspects of trail provision including visitor experience, current and recommended grade, accessibility, CPTED, hazards and […]

Community Experience Group Organisational Structure Review

Xyst undertook a review for Whakatāne District Council, looking at areas of the business that have the potential for positive change. Three types of change have been considered: 1. Process – any process changes to better benefit staff and the community. 2. Responsibility – role definition and allocating responsibility where there appears to be a […]

Memorial Headstone Safety Audit

The intent of the audit by Xyst was to inspect memorial headstones for stability/soundness and identify any headstones that may present a risk to cemetery visitors and staff. To provide some context, in July 2000 a six-year-old child died as a result of a collapsed headstone in a UK cemetery. UK Councils responded by increasing […]

Peace Avenue Trees

Xyst undertook a survey of 500 historic trees planted at the turn of the century in and around Fairlie and Kimbell towns. The trees had received little care for many years and some recent failures had alerted Council to issues ahead if no maintenance or inspections were completed. The trees were all inspected, condition and […]

Parks Cricket Specifications

Xyst Canada provided detailed specifications for cricket practice nets and a scope of work for cricket pitch maintenance and renewal activities. A high quality rendered image was also created to help pitch the project.

Capital Prioritization Tool

Xyst Canada Ltd. developed a tool based on criteria developed with internal staff. The ‘widget’ tool prioritizes all Parks capital projects. The project ranking results were communicated with CIty Council to determine capital costing and parks level of service.

Swan Canning Riverpark (WA) Parks User Survey

Xyst measured visitor expectations of levels of service by asking them to rate the importance of various park features. These results were compared with visitor satisfaction for the same features. Measuring satisfaction gave an indication of performance as measured against expectations. The difference, or gap between importance and satisfaction, gave a measure of under or […]

Executive Placement Parks and Facilities Manager

Xyst provided the expertise of a mature and experienced manager to cover the role for a period of 9 months. The role was both operational and managing the in-house service delivery staff covering cemeteries, parks, trails, trees, public toilets, playgrounds and minor capital projects.

Senior Manager Executive Placement

Xyst deployed an experienced and knowledgeable Parks and Facilities Manager to cover a vacancy for the Mackenzie District Council. Xyst seamlessly assumed the vacant position and relocated to the District. The role entailed promptly tackling the operational challenges of the District’s seasonal pools, overseeing the District’s township contractor, actively participating in Community Board and Council […]

Facility Risk Assessment

New management at Council were concerned about the condition and risk of a number of community facilities and asset and invited Xyst to promptly assist

Community Gardens Guidelines

Council acknowledged that establishing a successful Community Garden requires strong and sustained commitment from community members to undertake considerable planning, collaboration and engagement for a sustained length of time. Xyst developed these Community Garden Guidelines to assist community groups to understand the parameters of siting community gardens and the responsibilities of all stakeholders involved when […]

Bass Coast Tracks and Trails Strategy

This strategy identified 36 new trail opportunities to expand the trail network that has been identified during the development of this strategy, (emerging from background research, existing plans and key stakeholder consultation) and to respond specifically to: • recreation trends and preferences • existing trails network gaps • physical linkages/connections • opportunities to enhance community […]

Parks & Facilities Management

Brian Milne

Xyst was brought on board after a thorough risk and performance evaluation of the Mackenzie District Council’s parks and community facilities operations. Xyst was then asked to fill a sudden staff management gap, which quickly evolved into a long-term commitment to manage the District’s public facilities, parks, and community spaces. Throughout this period, Xyst’s team […]

Nelson Camping Hub

The Council resolved to provide a central service hub for campers visiting Nelson. Xyst identified potential sites and negotiated a lease for a disused petrol station in downtown Nelson. We quickly arranged all the necessary facilities to provide toilets, hot showers, wifi and visitor information. This included engaging contractors to staff and clean the facility.

Parks, Gardens, Cemeteries and Community Facilities Operations and Maintenance Contract

We undertook a comprehensive procurement process for the development of a new maintenance contract covering the entire district. This included specification writing, GIS asset and contract mapping. contract writing, procurement plan, ROI and RFP preparation and evaluation. Xyst has also assisted with contractor handover and contract management in the first year of the contract.

Taupo District Cemetery Plan

The plan documented the management and capacity of each cemetery in the district, set levels of service for each cemetery and forecasted demand and capacity. Cemetery fees and charges were benchmarked across New Zealand using Yardstick

Open Space and Street Furniture Guidelines

The Open Space and Street Furniture Guidelines is a suite of three resources: Practice Notes (this document) – 4 practice notes (people, place, environment, economy) describe context, principles, considerations and further reading relevant to open space and street furniture projects. These act as a general overview in support of the specific design guidelines. Case studies […]

Open Space and Tree Management Market and Service Delivery Assessment

City of Melbourne

City of Melbourne engaged Xyst to undertake a market and service delivery assessment and make recommendations on the best model for packaging the Open Space Management and Tree Management service contracts. The Xyst team gathered market intelligence on the current and potential service providers and considered the market in which they operate. We identified any […]

Open space contract quality audits and asset management condition inspections

The City of Whittlesea maintains 2,173 sites within its municipal boundaries where individual assets are located to be audited. All assets are inspected across the full range of park categories and measured for compliance with the relevant KPIs and outcomes detailed in the parks services contract, acting impartially and without bias. In any given month […]

Water Conservation Plan

A Water Conservation Plan specifically related to Napier City Council’s key sports grounds, amenity gardens and water features. This was among one of the first industry initiatives in the country with a real focus on water conservation. The purpose of this Water Conservation Plan was to understand and improve the wide use of water across […]

Event Resource Consent

Xyst prepared a resource consent application for Gisborne District Council, including AEE for the events cross referenced against the requirements of Te Papa Tipu Taunaki o Te Tairāwhiti – The Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan. This required consultation with various staff involved in the management of events to determine the scale and nature of what would […]

Community Facilities and Open Spaces Levels of Service Development

For Southland District Council, levels of service were prepared by Xyst for a range of assets within six activity areas: 1. Parks and Reserves (Open Spaces) 2. Cemeteries 3. Public Toilets 4. Community Centres 5. Community Housing 6. Water Structures (wharves and jetties) Benefits of a robust level of service approach include: • Consistency of […]

Manapouri Foreshore Vegetation Management Plan

Southland District Council (SDC) was undertaking a review of the Manapouri Foreshore Reserve Management Plan (2003) which provided for height management of vegetation on the reserve. Although some work on vegetation had been carried out, there had been little ongoing height management particularly in the areas identified as “retained/managed bush”. An itemised programme of works […]

Contract Performance Auditing

Nelson City Council engaged Xyst to carry out contract performance auditing. Xyst has developed an inspection template using a mobile app that allows performance against a set of performance measures from contract specifications to be scored from 1 to 5 and to produce an overall percentage score for each location. Activities audited include grass maintenance, […]

Waikato Tree Inventory data collection

Waikato District Council

Using a mobile data collection tool (GIS Cloud) Xyst collected data about the identity, age, condition, location and maintenance requirements of every Council tree in the Waikato District. Data (including images) is collected in the field and uploaded to a cloud-based database from where it can be exported in various formats for import directly into […]

Open Space Maintenance Specifications

In 2016 Xyst Ltd established a working group of parks industry colleagues representing both the client and contractor interests, to explore the need for an industry standard approach to the documentation of service delivery specifications. Based on the endorsement of this group, Xyst then approached New Zealand Recreation Association (now Recreation Aotearoa – RA) to […]

Waitaki Emergency Response and Contingency Plan

Waitaki District Council

Waitaki District Council contracted Xyst to develop an Emergency Response and Contingency Plan for its parks and open spaces activity. The plan provided a generic risk assessment and response for all parks and identified specific risks and prepared appropriate responses where these could be identified at individual parks. The plan included actions around trees where […]

Street Gardens and Street Furniture Levels of Service

Matamata-Piako District Council engaged Xyst to define level of service statements and guidelines at a high level for provision and development of street gardens and street furniture, and more detailed LoS for maintenance. The priority for this project was the public street or road adjacent to the business zones of the Matamata-Piako District, and entrance […]

Yardstick Parks User Surveys

Yardstick Parks User Surveys were developed in around 2008 initially as a paper based intercept survey designed to target park users and measure satisfaction with a range of parks related services and features. The product was initially called Parkcheck and is still known as this by some users. The surveys were taken online in 2015 […]

Section 17a Open Space Maintenance Service Review

Xyst worked with the Parks and Reserves team at South Waikato District Council to compare and analyse options including outsourcing delivery, in-house delivery, shared service arrangements and via a CCO/CCTO.

Child Care Centre Playground Performance Assessment

Key findings of the performance assessments, accompanied by some high level analytical commentary was completed, with each playground assigned an overall performance assessment score. Analysis included site design, play value, quantity of play items, equipment condition, safety surface condition and an assessment of remaining life of the asset.

Parks Performance Assessments

The purpose of the parks performance assessment was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each park, from a multi-faceted holistic perspective, and particularly from the users’ perspective. Recommendations to retain, change or assign (where none previously existed) service classifications for each park were made.

Botanic Gardens Staff Resourcing Review

Xyst provided an independent review of staffing resourcing to help the Parks and Open spaces department to determine appropriate resources and a structure for the Botanic Gardens in the future. There was only enough staff to perform basic maintenance of the gardens so Xyst carried out a benchmarking analysis to assess how other Botanic Gardens […]

Botanic Garden Education Program

Xyst analysed the current education program that Geelong Botanic Gardens was using and created an issues and opportunities report. The report identified a number of issues and opportunities, fundamentally identifying a lack of strategic direction for the program. It was recognised that a business plan was needed to address many of the key issues. The […]

Playground Performance Assessment

Undertook an assessment of each playground using the Playable Space Assessment Tool, Play England 2009, which has been adapted by Xyst. The tool enabled an assessment to be made of location, play value and ancillary facilities to produce an overall percentage score for each playground, ranking each playground to enable priorities to be identified objectively […]

Parks and Service Review

City of Kalamunda

Xyst was brought in to undertake a service review of the Parks and Environment section based on a Council resolution of November 2018. We reviewed Kalamunda’s information with other Australian councils’ park provision using Yardstick to produce a wide range of performance metrics to assess relative levels of service, performance and efficiency. We were also […]

Level of Service Summary

City of Melbourne

Xyst identified and developed Levels of Service through a series of staff workshops, assisted by an analysis of the current asset inventory and review of the contract specifications. The levels of service will address both development and operating levels of service and will be guided by an agreed strategic parks category framework that could be […]

Rural City of Murray Bridge – Water-Based Recreation Management Plan

Xyst developed the Management plan to help RCMB identify opportunities for rejuvenation along the Murray River Corridor, encompassing future potential for residential land uses and sustainable environmental management. Xyst participated in inception and research and consultation and assessments to deliver a final management plan. From this Xyst identified opportunities and constraints relating to a broad […]

Contract Training Workshop

Xyst prepared and led a 3/4 day training session on contract management, contributing to cover contract management tasks including tender planning, specification writing, etc. Three main themes were delivered to staff; these were contract management, service delivery specifications and quality management.

Trails Operating Levels of Service

Xyst produced an operating level of service that was aligned with best practice guidelines which focused on confirming maintenance tasks associated with the trail network and identifying appropriate intervention tolerances, frequencies of operation, response times and deadlines associated with each task. Each level of service that was identified responded to the public use of the […]

Rural Townships Community Caretaker Performance Assessment

Xyst was engaged to undertake an independent mid-term audit and performance review of community caretaker contracts in place for parks and open space maintenance in rural townships across the Tairāwhiti Gisborne District. The project included developing and undertaking an audit/performance assessment of each of the nine contractor areas, interviews with the contractors who held open […]

Parks and Gardens Service Review

Xyst undertook a performance quality assessment of operations and maintenance standards across a sample of different parks categories with a geographic spread across the shire. This assessment enabled us to develop an overall result of 90% for parks within the Council’s authority. Following the assessment, key areas of improvement and success were identified. From this […]

Operations Levels of Service.

Xyst produced an operating levels of service guideline which focused on confirming scheduled maintenance tasks associated with grass, horticulture, sports areas, irrigation, furniture and structures, paths and hard surfaces, playgrounds, litter and refuse, trees, verges and firebreaks. Each of these areas had scheduled operations, such as grass height, and then each area had tasks assigned. […]

Parks Operations Site Audit

To review the Council’s maintenance operations, Xyst developed a site inspection matrix that had two major areas of assessment, being critical success factors and the technical service levels. The critical success factors were scored for each site and weighting applied. This approach was used due to some factors for users being more important than technical […]

Landfill Revegetation Programme and Maintenance Plan 2014

Xyst developed a landfill revegetation programme for Port Pirie Regional Council, along with a maintenance plan developed to assist the Council when undertaking the physical works required to revegetate the landfill site. The developed plan included planting schedules, maintenance plan and specifications, and site planning plan. These elements discuss which species should be planted, specifications […]

Low Herbicide Weed Control Trial Study

Nelson City Council has received several requests from members of the public who have requested that pesticides aren’t used in Council’s parks and reserves. In response, Council has requested that Xyst Limited investigate the feasibility and implications of undertaking weed control in a selection of reserves with no (or minimal) herbicide use. The report considers […]

Capacity Review

Xyst worked closely with the Hutt City Parks and Reserves team to review their operations, property, planning, project management and contract management roles. Using a combination of peer Council analysis, Yardstick benchmarking and our extensive local government experience to identify opportunities for improvement and a programme of change.

Contract Management and Contract Auditing

Xyst was engaged to manage the Amenity Tree Maintenance Contract and Open Space Maintenance contract for the City of Port Phillip from May 2023 through to March 2024. This included providing a dedicated contract manager working within the City of Port Phillip on placement. Particular emphasis was focused on improving contractor performance, systems improvement, reviewing […]

Karl Nesbitt

I have over 30 years’ experience in the horticulture, parks and open spaces, community facilities and customer service sectors. I have been involved in contract management, business development and quality assurance programs such as Yardstick. You can contact me for help with Project management Asset management Environmental landscape Open space development Cemeteries and crematoria Community, […]

Mark Bruhn

I have worked in local government in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, more recently overseeing the governance structure, stakeholder engagement and staff leadership within a primary health network.  I bring a strong service delivery and customer relationship focus having worked closely with governance groups, elected members, tangata whenua, funding agencies and community networks. You can […]

Nicki Malone

I am a highly experienced open space and local government professional, with more than 15 years’ experience in open space planning, including reserve management, master and concept planning, capital work programme development, project planning and management and community engagement. I have experience in developing relationships and partnering with mana whenua. You can contact me for […]

Nick Redenbach

The key parts of my role include auditing parks, asset inspections and usage, assessing residential impact, and community and stakeholder engagement. There are many complexities to consider while inspecting and auditing assets. The most important is safety. Then we consider cost, usage, residential impacts, practicality and quality. All of these factors need careful examination to […]

Service Delivery

From procuring and managing contractors to the practical implementation of strategic work, we can help you to deliver services efficiently

Mark Smith

As a senior consultant, I am able to support clients in many ways with my specialities in asset management, procurement, maintenance contract options, service reviews and project management support. My experience allows me to be flexible in the options I provide for client support. I take a pragmatic and diligent approach to client queries, and […]

Tom O'Neill

Since starting with Xyst, I have worked alongside council to fill the role of Parks, Facilities and Customer Service Officer. This role manages the day-to-day operations of the council’s cemeteries, parks, pools, halls and associated community services. I’m also involved in planning and auditing these services to ensure their quality is maintained. Where possible, I […]

Alison Rawley

My key responsibility is project management of the Yardstick suite of benchmarking tools. This involves regular updates to the online tools on the Yardstick website, development of new survey and benchmark projects for clients, technical support, data analysis and reporting. It also involves liaison with partner industry organisations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand and […]

Eric Hamilton

I support councils to develop clear policy and guidelines for managing public activities on public land. I do this by supporting council officers to manage natural and built assets, ensuring they are maintained and managed in a sustainable manner. This support includes helping council staff to grow and broaden their knowledge to manage people, activities, […]

Chris Rutherford

I founded Xyst in 2002 and since then we have grown the company to the scale it is today.  Currently I manage the Australian branch from Melbourne, focusing on identifying opportunities for our company to work with like-minded clients and interact with our wonderful team around projects, opportunities, training and challenges. I endeavour to provide […]

Dafydd Pettigrew

As a consultant, I have been involved with a mixture of parks planning, asset management, capital works delivery and programme management projects for councils, charitable trusts and Maori trusts. My role often requires a high degree of consultation and engagement with the public, key stakeholders and mana whenua. In any project, I work with people […]

Brian Milne

My specialist field of expertise is asset management. I also provide planning and operational support to local government clients, allowing them to complete the parks and recreational projects that enhance our community well-being. Managing assets is a challenge faced by every council and local government body, which is why I oversee the development and delivery […]

Paul Wilson

My primary role is to manage the team at Xyst’s Napier office and to assist our other consultants to bring innovative, best practice solutions for our clients. I have deep knowledge across the key areas of Xyst’s services and share it for our collective benefit. I’m the go-to guy for technical issues and problem solving. I […]