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Manukau Leisure performs ahead of budget

Media Release
22 October 2008

Manukau Leisure performs ahead of budget

Manukau Leisure Services Ltd has reported improved performance in its first year of operation and posted an ahead-of-budget profit.

The Manukau City Council-controlled organisation has increased revenues and gained efficiency – resulting in $1 million reduction in grant required from the council.

The provider of leisure, health and childcare services received a funding of $12 million from the council in the year ended 30 June 2008. In turn, it subcontracted support services and facility leases from the council for $4.9 million.

Manukau Leisure facilities recorded over 3.5 million visits during the year – an increase of 2.8 per cent, says Dr Stuart Middleton, chairman of the company.

“These gains have been possible because we could build on the council’s proud record of 25 years of providing fitness and leisure programmes, and 18 years of providing childcare services.

“We delivered all services at the same costs previously charged to customers, while still maintaining and expanding numerous free services.” Manukau Leisure provides free swimming pool access to the residents of the city.

“We have achieved a smooth transition from being a council unit to a stand-alone company, for our 400 staff and our customers,” says Dr Middleton. An independent survey by the University of South Australia showed customer approval rating of 91.22 per cent.

It also reported 10.3 per cent savings on water costs and 3 per cent savings on power. The pilot launch of new ultra-violet filtration in Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centre in Pakuranga has resulted in $100,000 savings. The new system also improves the pool environment, since it uses less chlorine. “We plan to install ultra-violet disinfection at Manurewa Aquatic Centre and Papatoetoe Centennial Pools next year,” says Brett Jude, chief executive.

Drawing on the flexibility and responsiveness that comes from being a stand-alone company, the company has moved quickly in establishing new partnerships with other sports and health providers, Mr Jude says. “For example, once we had established the need for greater access to childcare in Papatoetoe, we set up with Manukau Properties, within just three months, our new Kauri Kids programme, which will soon be expanded to four other sites.”

Looking ahead, Mr Jude sees opportunities to generate income for the city by offering expertise to run services beyond Manukau. “We also see opportunities in forming strategic partnerships with large and small agencies.”

ENDS

Note to editors: Download the full annual report (PDF 2MB): http://www.manukauleisure.co.nz/files/MLSL_AR08.pdf

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