Readers grassed off over lawns

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Mowing berms, The Aucklander, January 26

It would be very good of the council to advise ratepayers of the change of policy as, to date, we have not received notification regarding this.

In our street we have several people who never mow their grass berms but wait for the council to do so. Can you imagine what our street is going to look like now, as it was bad enough during peak lawn growing times between council mows? It would be very good of [Auckland Transport's] Murray Noone to advise everyone of this new requirement. Without being told, how are people expected to know? Auckland Council, please do your duty and advise your ratepayers.

Robyn Craig, St JohnsThis raises some interesting questions, even though it answers the "When are they cutting the darn grass?" one.

Let's start with "When were they going to tell anyone they had changed the rule"? If they hadn't told Housing NZ, other landlords weren't going to have a chance of finding out. This particularly affects properties (like mine) with no grass except for the berm; these now have an increased cost formerly covered by rates.

I'm sure property managers would like to know this. They will be the ones prosecuted for blocking drains with uncut berms, even though they weren't aware they were responsible. Interesting test case, potentially.

Let's move on to "Who is responsible for the footpaths inside the berms?" Logically, if Auckland Transport have abrogated the berms, the footpaths should follow?

How about "Auckland Transport is owned by the council - why not simply contract the job back to them?" After all, they have the gear for it, now presumably gathering rust somewhere.

Let's end with "What else haven't they told us?" Yes, I'm affected by this, but Auckland Transport's cavalier attitude is becoming rather noticeable. They seem to have no concept they are dealing with a community - one that needs to be kept informed. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be this way - can the council do nothing to rein in its troublesome offspring?

- Mike Diggins, Royal Oak

PS One final one - "If I'm responsible for the berm, can I concrete over it?" I suspect not, but I bet someone will try.

Alf Stewart should invite the Occupy NZ protesters to camp on his lawn and berm for a few weeks - according to the council, once they leave, the grass will not grow back for months, if at all. - Rosalie France, Devonport

St Heliers preschool, The Aucklander, January 19

The Stockman-Corden and Smith families don't know what they are missing. On the other side of our long, 1.8m high fence is not only a kindergarten but also a primary/intermediate school of some 600 pupils. It is an absolute joy to us to hear the little ones being brought to kindergarten, the cries, the laughter - and, last Christmas, bagpipes welcoming Santa Claus.

We hear the chatter of pupils at the school as they walk right by our fence. Fortunately, we have a view of the playground and we can watch the various sports activities and hear the teachers coaching and encouraging the children.

There is always activity going on. We are not young but our lives have certainly been enriched and we would not want it any other way. - Betty Hunt

This preschool is one block away from the Melanesia Rd-Long Drive intersection. I am a middle-aged adult who has worked in early childhood education for many years and I also have been living on the intersection for more than 10 years. In this time I have witnessed and attended more accidents than I care to remember. When these accidents have occurred, the cars haven't just crashed into each other, they have often gone out of control and been airborne as they have gone past our properties and pedestrians, hitting vehicles until they come to rest.

I witnessed one incident at the bend from Speight Rd to the intersection - several power lines down, fence posts demolished on several properties. This happened at 9.10am on a weekday.

Many families and the community will be asking the council: what on earth were you thinking, allowing an early childhood education facility on such a dangerous stretch of road?

We have already had an accident that killed a pedestrian. There is no question that there will be further accidents and injuries on Long Drive. Anita Brown, St Heliers

Occupy protesters ( story)

Why is it that "freedom camping" for self-contained motorhomes is now only allowed in certain areas with fines issued if the law is not complied with, and yet, protesters seemingly "freedom camp" at will.

Do not the same rules/fines apply to the protesters who camp as they please? - Roy Jones, Whangarei

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- The Aucklander

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