Coun­cil moves to stan­dard­ise con­tracts

North Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - ZIZI SPARKS

A pro­posed re­view of the Auck­land Coun­cil’s main­te­nance con­tracts across the city would see a re­duc­tion in the use of chem­i­cal weed sprays in parks.

Project 17 out­lines the main­te­nance con­tracts for more than 5000 coun­cil sites, which ex­pire on June 30, 2017. The sites in­clude parks, build­ings and open spa­ces, and the project splits the city into five con­tract ar­eas.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s gen­eral man­ager of com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties Rod Sheri­dan told the Hibis­cus and Bays Lo­cal Board that Project 17 is about hav­ing ‘‘smarter, bet­ter man­aged con­tracts and im­prov­ing our ser­vices’’ and hav­ing ‘‘stan­dard­ised con­tracts with flex­i­bil­ity’’.

He says the pro­posal, which has been in dis­cus­sions since Septem­ber 2016, will stream­line and stan­dard­ise ser­vice and main­te­nance around the city.

The three core con­tracts out­lined in the pro­posal are, a full fa­cil­i­ties con­tract, in­clud­ing open spa­ces and build­ing main­te­nance, and two spe­cialised con­tracts for ar­bori­cul­ture, in­clud­ing prun­ing, tree re­moval and plant­ing, and eco­log­i­cal work, in­clud­ing re­moval of pests.

The pro­posal out­lines weed man­age­ment fo­cused on re­duc­ing the use of chem­i­cals. Man­ual and me­chan­i­cal weed con­trols are cur­rently used in and around chil­dren’s play­grounds, and that won’t change, but me­chan­i­cal edg­ing would also be used along paving and other hard edges un­der the new con­tracts.

The re­duc­tion in the use of agri­chem­i­cals would be closely mon­i­tored.

‘‘That’s a big change across the re­gion around her­bi­cide use.’’

Site-spe­cific ex­cep­tions to the rule will be dis­cussed with lo­cal boards in April and May.

Sheri­dan says Project 17 is also out­come-driven.

‘‘At the mo­ment, our con­tracts are very pre­scrip­tive where we say, ‘You will go to this park ev­ery fort­night, you will empty that rub­bish bin once a day’ … So what we’re go­ing to do is out­come­based where we say, ‘The grass will not be over this height, the rub­bish bin will be clean.’

‘‘There will be no re­duc­tion in the amount of ex­ist­ing ser­vices, if any­thing ser­vice lev­els will be im­proved.’’

Sheri­dan also says lo­cal boards would have the op­por­tu­nity to vary ser­vice lev­els to suit their own ar­eas. The rec­om­mended con­tracts will be pre­sented to the Fi­nance and Per­for­mance Com­mit­tee on March 30.

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