Closing the accounts at the end of the financial year (30 June) will be the last step in completing the sale of AIM Services, signalling the end of an era for council-owned maintenance services in Auckland.
Councillor Desley Simpson, Chair of the council’s Finance and Performance Committee, says with almost all of the transition work and financial settlement complete, the council can now confirm the sale price.
“Six months ago we announced the sale of AIM Services to Australasian facilities management company Programmed. This decision reflects the council’s commitment to delivering the services that Aucklanders need, while providing value for money, improved service delivery, and the development and support of staff.
“Now that we have transitioned the 300 staff and finalised the business’s assets, we can confirm the business was purchased for $19.2 million. The sale proceeds will go towards our long-term plan and recovery budget asset sales target of $70 million.
“While the sale of AIMS brings cash into the council at a time of unprecedented budget pressure, it’s also important to remember this wasn’t the only reason we considered getting out of the facilities maintenance business.
“AIMS served our region well for nearly 30 years but it was costing more than other service providers and was needing a significant investment to match what larger companies could provide,” she says.
AIMS employees transferred to Programmed on 4 April and continue to provide full facility maintenance services for the Albert-Eden, Aotea Great Barrier, Puketāpapa, Waiheke and Whau Local Board Areas.
“We set out to ensure AIMS staff were well-provided for and are particularly proud of the fact that the 300 or so AIMS employees transferred to Programmed on their same employment terms and conditions,” says Cr Simpson.
The last steps in winding up the AIMS business include closing out the AIMS accounts at the end of the financial year.
A look back at AIM Services
First forming in 1995, the Auckland City Council owned business unit was known as City Park Services and employed a team of 35. When Auckland Council was formed in 2010, City Parks Services became part of the council’s finance division, as a service provider to the operational side of the organisation.
The team and its breadth of services had continued to grow and in 2014 it added a new contract with Auckland Airport and became a full facility service provider. City Parks Services took on stadium mowing and horticulture work at Western Springs, QBE and Mt Smart, and widened its work area further outside the former Auckland City boundaries.
In 2017, when the council undertook a new region-wide procurement programme, City Parks Services was awarded the contract that covered the central and Gulf Island areas. A rebrand in 2018 saw the name change to Amenities and Infrastructure Maintenance Services (AIMS) and the adoption of the council’s familiar pōhutukawa logo to reflect its ownership.
While AIMS was operating strongly, the council recognised that it was not the right ‘parent’ for a growing business so, in 2020, began exploring options for divestment. The decision to sell was made in July 2021 and Programmed was announced as the successful buyer in December 2021.
Programmed continues to provide the same or improved maintenance services that AIMS delivered, including arboriculture, cleaning, indoor plants, landscaping, open space maintenance, waste management, litter control and removal, project construction and building and technical services.