By Lynn Cairney
The landscaping industry in New Zealand is unregulated and has probably got more than its fair share of cowboys and girls, so where do you start if you are intending to carry out any landscaping and want the peace of mind that you are engaging a professional?
The Landscape Industries Association of New Zealand, known as Landscaping New Zealand, is an association of landscaping professionals who choose to differentiate themselves from the masses and show their commitment to professional practice. As an accredited member of Landscaping New Zealand, businesses have been put through a rigorous accreditation process to allow them to use the Landscaping New Zealand brand.
The accreditation process not only accesses skill, but also business practices. These include contracts, insurance and occupational health and safety policies. Credit checks are also carried out.
Once accepted, accredited members are bound by Landscaping New Zealand’s Constitution, Code of Conduct and Environmental Policies. Landscaping New Zealand also has a complaints and disciplinary procedure that it takes very seriously.
All documents and information about accredited members in your area can be viewed on
the Landscaping New Zealand website, www.lianz.org.nz.
“Do it once, do it right. Choose an accredited Landscaping New Zealand professional for your next project.”
One of the most important issues is for you, the client, to feel confident and comfortable with the professionals you choose. Many accredited designers work closely with other accredited landscape construction companies, and vice versa. You will also find companies that provide full design and build services.
Now you are on track with finding the right landscaping professional for your proposed project, but where to next? The more ideas you gather, thought that you put into your wish list, what you want your new outdoor space to achieve, and how you want it to function for you, the better.
Don’t get distracted by how this will be achieved – that is the designer’s job. Most designers work with a client brief, so this must be well thought through, and a professional will guide you through this process.
Be prepared to pay for professional advice, design drawings and plans appropriate for your project. Appropriate drawings will allow you to see the potential outcome and allow a contractor to accurately price your project. Also, be prepared to wait for the right professionals.
Your outdoor spaces and garden is an asset that will increase in value just like your home, and will add considerable value to your property if they are well designed, constructed and maintained. The cost of seeking professional advice and drawings is in most instances only a very small percentage of the overall cost of the project and will save on costly mistakes.
The cost of a consultation with a designer is around the equivalent of one square metre of mistake with paving, and six to eight inappropriate plants from the garden centre.
While you are on our website also look at the products and services available from our primary partner Allied Concrete, industry partner Firth Masonry Products, supporting partners Resene, Prebble Seed, HomePlus and all of our allied members.
Lynn Cairney is president of Landscaping New Zealand. www.lianz.org.nz