Thursday, November 30, 2023

Messy berms make community ‘look rundown’

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Simon Austin says long and untidy grass berms make the area look uncared for. Times photo Wayne Martin

Grass berms are getting scruffy in parts of east Auckland and residents want something done about it.

Bucklands and Eastern Beaches Ratepayers and Residents Association committee member Simon Austin says the length of berms on public and private land makes the community look uncared for.

With some also overgrowing the edge of kerbs, there’s a risk they could cause stormwater drains to become blocked, leading to flooding during a heavy downpour.

“The issue is the general untidiness of the area,” Austin says.

“Auckland Council services aren’t keeping up their end in terms of maintaining areas that are council land around bus stops, power boxes, and roundabouts.

“I think there needs to be a joint effort between residents and the council and I don’t think the council is doing their part on a regular basis.

“They’re doing it intermittently but we’re getting this patchwork of untidiness around the area.”

The grass on council land near a pedestrian crossing on Bucklands Beach Road is almost knee-height, and there are numerous other spots in the suburb that are just as bad.

Austin says he’s spoken to former local residents who have returned to the area and were surprised at how untidy it’s become.

“People say they couldn’t get over how the area looks more rundown.

“The area that really concerns me is the corridor leading into Bucklands Beach and Eastern Beach, as it’s very untidy.

“That’s an important road as it gives you an impression of the area as you’re coming in.”

Austin says the association has raised the issue with the Howick Local Board.

“We’ve asked them to put together flyers to send around to residents to remind them it’s their responsibility to maintain their berms.

“When you think about how your local community is maintained it does strike a chord.

“Having pride in your surroundings is a very important part of well-being.

“Residents need to step up a bit more and take ownership of this problem.”

Council manager area operations Marcel Morgan says generally the responsibility for mowing grass berms adjacent to all other properties rests with the owners or occupiers.

He asks people to take pride in their streets and ensure berms in front or to the side of their properties are mowed regularly.

The council is responsible for mowing along rural roads and when there’s a stormwater asset within a berm.

It also mows berms adjacent to council-owned properties and in town centres.

There are some circumstances in which the council may also mow berms adjacent to properties, Morgan says.

“Mowing outcomes for berms adjacent to private properties in the road corridor is different to that expected at a neighbourhood park where we encourage recreational values that come with open space.

“The specification applied will be anything up to five times a year.

“Most of the grass in places such as on roundabouts, beside pedestrian crossings, and bus stops are council-owned green spaces. These spaces should have regular maintenance.”

People can report a site that isn’t being maintained by phoning the council on 09 301 0101, or go online to

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