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Councillors support back-down over berms

Auckland councillors today supported a back-down on the vexed berm issue, with people who can’t mow their berms no longer needing to painstakingly apply for an exemption. Any long grass will now just be mown, albeit to a lower standard than applied by the former Auckland City Council.

“The Mayor adopted a cold turkey approach last year by ceasing berm mowing in the isthmus suburbs from 1 July to supposedly save $3m. That approach was completely ill-conceived and has failed Auckland badly with the city looking scruffy. It’s great news that some sanity has now prevailed after a lot of ratepayers’ money and staff time and has been wasted fighting frustrated residents,” says Cameron Brewer.

In today’s Regional Strategy and Policy Committee, Mr Brewer’s amendment, seconded by Denise Krum, supporting the back-down was passed unanimously. The amendment read that the committee “Thank Auckland Council Parks department and Auckland Transport for taking a more pragmatic and responsive approach to the managing of overgrown berms, and support their commitment of getting on top of any unsightly berms by autumn.”

Mr Brewer says its great news that the sight of any knee-high berms will soon be behind Aucklanders.

At today’s meeting Denise Krum voiced her alarm at the admission by fellow councillors that they are either already planting private gardens on the publicly-owned berms, or support the idea of other Aucklanders just going ahead and doing the same.

"Pandora’s vegetable box has now been opened. The hillbilly approach whereby certain councillors support planting of corn, flax and flowers on berms is embarrassing. If that is the case, then residents could rightly ask to park their cars on berms too. This has got to be sorted out by council very soon before it gets out of control,” says Ms Krum.

Councillor Lee and Fletcher’s amendment to have the council’s berm policy reviewed given public concerns was lost 12/7.

ENDS

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