Residents angry at long grass in city

By Matthew Martin

Fantastic growing conditions and the cutting back of regular mowing programmes has resulted in Rotorua's council receiving complaints about long grass around the city.

Letters received by The Daily Post during the holiday period complained of unmown grass verges, playgrounds and public reserves in Mamaku.

Another letter complained of unmown grass in the Rotorua cemetery, saying the RSA section looked "bedraggled and forgotten".

People also called The Daily Post asking why grass had been left to grow in parks and reserves.

However, Rotorua District Council parks and recreation manager Garry Page said staff had been working 10-hour days, six days a week, to catch up on the work backlog after some very good grass growing weather.

"There's been some prolific growth around Rotorua and we are chasing our tails trying to keep up with it.

"Usually at this time of year the grass browns off and dries up.

"We will get on top of it, and admit it doesn't look the best, but our mowing crews are doing their best to keep up," he said.

In September last year, district councillors approved a plan to cut back on vegetation control in rural areas, including Mamaku, after the New Zealand Transport Agency cut its funding for local roading projects.

The agency said the council could maintain its existing infrastructure with the money they would provide. However, council engineers calculated they would be about $2.5 million short. The council decided to go from seven mows a year to three in rural areas, saving $30,000.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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