Prior to 1 July 2009 we mowed all urban road berms, except those mown by land owners. The degree of land owner mowing varied between different communities and this was inconsistent and inequitable as the district was funding an activity that allowed greater benefit to some individual parties and local communities or, in some cases, paying for a job to be done twice.
We resolved, after consultation and during the 2009 Ten Year Plan deliberations that the mowing of residential berms should be left to the adjoining property owner.
The berm mowing policy is consistent with the majority of other New Zealand local authorities.
It is the property owner/resident's responsibility in urban areas to mow the road berm adjacent to their property. An urban area is defined as within a 70kmh speed zone.
We will mow:
- Grassed traffic islands and medians.
- Berms adjacent to parks and reserves and other Council buildings (funded from the reserve budget).
- Berms adjacent to Council utility plants e.g. waste water treatment plants (funded from that particular activity budget).
- Berms at the entrances to Council walkways.
- Berms in front of a private property where the berm area is larger than 400 square meters per lot.
- Berms on roads which are considered to be tourist routes (unless mown by adjacent properties).
- Berms that are steep (unable to be mown by a hand mower) or adjacent to bush/farm land on the urban/rural boundary will be mown a maximum of 4 to 5 times a year by a rural reach or flail type mower. These are referred to as semi-urban areas.
If property owner/occupier believes their berm is over the 400 square meters per lot threshold they can log a request for service.
The request to have a berm mown outside a private property will be assessed and the area of berm outside the property will be measured. Should staff determine the berm area to exceed the 400 square meters per lot threshold, we will mow the berm outside the property.
Where the berm remains unmown outside a property, we will mow the berm one to four times a year to keep the grass from becoming a fire hazard.