Angela and Peter Signal have received an apology from Auckland Council after being told they had to trim a hedge planted on council land, but want an explanation for the actions of bureaucrats.

Mrs Signal was heading to bridge yesterday when council chief operating officer Dean Kimpton called to apologise for the mix-up and said the council would continue to trim the hedge between the Signals' home and a public walkway.

"He didn't tell me what happened. I would like a fuller explanation as to what made the council think that we should be trimming their side in the first place," she said.

The elderly Papatoetoe couple received a note in their letterbox from a council compliance officer on Tuesday about the hedge, which they had just had trimmed on their side at a cost of $250.


Mrs Signal rang the council and was told "times had changed" and that she - a 71-year-old with a double hip replacement - and 78-year old Peter, who has a heart and lung condition, were now responsible for trimming the entire hedge.

She was told the council did not plant the hedge and was not responsible for it - even though the former Papatoetoe and Manukau city council had always cut the council side.

Mayor Len Brown yesterday told the Herald he was unaware of the case.

The two Manukau ward councillors whose turf includes Papatoetoe, Arthur Anae and Alf Filipaina, had no comment.