Case study 5.6

Asset management for public entities: Learning from local government examples.

Wanganui District Council – Taking a cost-effective approach to keeping condition information up to date helps ensure that planning has a sound basis

Wanganui District Council has a structured approach to assessing the condition and performance of its assets. In common with most councils, data on road condition is collected through road roughness and condition rating surveys. Assessment is focused on critical assets, and more frequent inspection of arterial and collector roads.

However, it is in its parks planning that the Council has taken an innovative approach. Condition and performance ratings are allocated to all parks facilities assets, and the asset management plan sets out the assessment regime that is in place. Base data on the condition and performance of equipment in the city’s parks is collected by thinking innovatively about what work a trained carpenter could do while on light duties, having returned to work following injury. With his technical skills and knowledge, the carpenter was well placed to assess the condition and current performance of parks equipment. The Council found that this was something the carpenter could cope with physically while adding real value to the Council’s ability to plan effectively. A programme is planned to keep condition assessments up to date, targeting a sample of assets as well as using planned maintenance as an opportunity to gather data.

The Council uses condition assessment, performance assessment, and the resulting remaining useful life of the asset as a basis for its maintenance and renewals decisions.