Grass growing longer as Council contracts ‘bed in’

Grass is thigh-high in some parts of the Hibiscus Coast, with residents pointing the finger at Council’s new parks contractors.

Residents are taking to the grass and weeds in local reserves and walkways themselves in frustration at the lack of maintenance by Auckland Council’s contractors.

Among them are Faye and Albert Brea of Gulf Harbour, who recently cleaned up the edges of the walkway where it borders their property. The grass and weeds were growing long there and seeding, as no work had been done since May.

Ventia took over the contract for the care of Auckland’s parks and open spaces on July 1. Council said at the time that the contracts could take up to 12 months to fully bed in.

In a press release last week, Ventia unreservedly apologised for “insufficient mowing and gardening work” and said it is working with Council to address concerns.

Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chair Julia Parfitt says that she is getting a huge amount of feedback on the contracts and has been ever since they took effect.

“The problem is widespread and includes not mowing reserve areas, or going in when it was too wet and leaving damaged soil,” she says. “A number of reserves seem to have been left off the list given to contractors and, in new subdivisions, there are areas that have not yet been transferred to Council for servicing. This includes reserves in Millwater. That process needs to be fast tracked as people are paying rates and getting no level of service.”

Auckland Transport (AT) is responsible for the roadside verges in public places (not outside residential homes) but it seems that the former contractor, Recreational Services, was doing some of those – including in Manly Village shopping centre – as they weren’t on AT’s schedule. AT is apparently updating its schedule.

Mrs Parfitt says that residents who are unhappy with maintenance in specific public areas should ring Council’s call centre on 09 301 0101. “If nothing happens within a week of that complaint, residents can contact a local board member with the case number,” she says.


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