Local Board member Garry Boles says the last 12 months with Auckland Council have been an ongoing challenge.
“The last 12 months have become a constant battle, with multiple complaints from the community arriving daily – many of these regarding the condition of our parks and walkways, and several asking when storm damage from January will be repaired.”
“We advise residents to follow the recommended procedure for the quickest response by calling the Auckland Council Call Centre.”
“Weeks later board members are being called back by the complainants saying they have had no contact from council and their issues have not been resolved,” says Boles.
Boles, who oversees the parks and recreation portfolio, says he regularly receives emails from members of the public telling him “what he should be doing.”
“I can assure you that when we receive complaints, these are immediately directed to the council staff responsible. In response they reassure us the problem will be addressed.”
Auckland Council community facilities general manager Rod Sheridan says the unprecedented nature of April’s storm and the continued heavy rainfall is responsible for the state of the parks and reserves.
“In the three-day period immediately following the storm, Auckland Council’s contact centre received more than 2000 calls relating to downed trees – this is more than we what we usually receive in an average month,” he says.
He says the initial response to the storm was to make sites safe for public use.
For a full week following the storm, arborists worked around the clock in 12-hour shifts and were continually redeployed to high-priority sites to clear trees that had compromised power lines, and fallen across houses, roads and cars.
“The volume is immense and has stretched capacity in many areas, resulting in delays to other core maintenance work. However, we are working through the backlog and expect to be on top of it in the coming weeks,” he says.
“On top of this, the continued above-average rainfall is creating delays to mowing work. In April we saw a 180 per cent increase in rain. This continued into May and NIWA’s regional predictions are indicating that there will be a 50 per cent increase in rain through to July.”
He says calling the Auckland Council contact centre is the best avenue for getting these issues resolved.
If people have already done so with no response, he says, they should touch base with the contact centre again for an update.
Long-standing board member Adele White has also expressed her frustration over poor maintenance and community project delays in east Auckland. Click here to read this story.