Residents in the old Auckland City Council area appear to be taking greater responsibility for mowing their berms if a random check by the Herald is anything to go by.
A drive through suburban streets on the route to and from the airport yesterday found the vast majority of berms neatly mowed, or with one or two weeks of growth.
The airport bus route, from downtown Auckland and along Mt Eden Rd towards the motorway, has few berms to speak of.
The final stretch along Hillsborough Rd has a series of narrow berms with just one overgrown berm near the motorway turn-off.
Taking the taxi route back to the city, via the Queenstown Rd motorway off-ramp, revealed a more patchy picture, starting with overgrown weeds at the first roundabout and a handful of messy berms along Pah Rd. One berm had been sprayed and was dying.
The worst berm was on the corner of Bishop St and Selwyn Rd - a popular route through to The Drive and Gillies Ave. There, a large corner site had clearly not been mowed for some time.
Most overgrown berms were on corner sites or in front of multiple shared properties.
The occupants of four townhouses in Gillies Ave had let the berm grow wild, but had a tall stone fence between them and the berm and access to their homes off Ranfurly Rd. No one was home at any of the properties yesterday.
An Auckland Transport spokeswoman said by and large former Auckland City residents had got on with mowing their berms, and were in line with other former council areas where residents had always done their own. "However, in saying that, Auckland Transport has a pro-active programme of assessing areas to be mown and is working hard on maintaining these in the summer months. Outside multiple properties we expect the front landowner or the Body Corporate to make arrangements for the mowing of their berm in front of the property. There will be situations where it will be unreasonable to expect the landowner to mow the full extent of the berm at corner sites. We will assess these on a case- by-case basis," the spokeswoman said.
From 114 current requests to Auckland Transport for exemptions, 36 have been approved and 78 declined.