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Auckland Transport

Footpath & berm maintenance

Auckland Transport is responsible for the maintenance of streets, footpaths, and grass verges or berms, so that both traffic and pedestrians can move around quickly and safely.


Footpath repairs

Please let us know if you have seen a street or footpath that has any of the following:

  • Potholes
  • Loose chip or debris
  • Cracked surface
  • Slips
  • Overhanging trees obstructing visibility
  • Repair of roadside furniture

Please provide as much detail as possible, including if there is water involved, whether the problem could cause serious injury to a pedestrian, and the cause of damage if known.

Report a problem


Street cleaning

Auckland Transport is responsible for the cleaning of the streets and footpaths, to keep the city looking clean and tidy. This mainly takes place during the early hours of the morning and involves mechanically and manually sweeping the footpaths and streets, as well as collecting all the litter. A designated person with a hand-cart may also carry out spot-cleaning during the day.

The cleaning schedule varies throughout the region with high-use areas such as the CBD being cleaned continually throughout the day. The shopping areas in the suburbs are cleaned nightly. Main arterial routes are swept weekly and residential streets are swept approximately every twelve weeks. Frequencies and exact cleaning schedules are planned appropriate to an area's use.

The litter bins are emptied daily.

Contact us if you have any further enquiries about the cleaning of our streets.


Weed control

The Auckland region is the main entry point for new plant species arriving in New Zealand. The temperate climate means plant species are quick to naturalise and once established as weeds, these new species can grow and reproduce rapidly.

Over 615 exotic plant species have naturalised in the Auckland Region in the past 150 years (Auckland RPMS 1997). On average, one new exotic plant naturalises in Auckland every 86 days.

These introduced plants, along with weed and ornamental species already in the City's numerous gardens, are the source of potential weed problems in parks and on roadsides.

Auckland Transport is responsible for the control of weeds in our footpaths, berms, streets and roads. Materials and processes used to control weeds vary throughout the region.

Add or remove your name and address from the No Spray Register.


Urban berm mowing

BermsIn the 2013/2014 Annual Plan, Auckland Council standardised urban berm mowing services throughout the region. The decision was based on a vote by current councillors to cease berm mowing in the old Auckland City Council area - the only area in the region to have their berms mown.

Councillors made this vote based on the ability to save about $3m per year with the objective of minimising rate rises in the city. Standardisation of berm mowing services came into effect on 1 July this year.

Generally the responsibility of mowing grass berms adjacent to all other properties now rests with the owners or occupiers. The alternative, providing berm mowing services region-wide, would have cost ratepayers an extra $12m - $15M a year.

This means the only berms Auckland Council will mow are those adjacent to council-owned properties.

People are asked to please take pride in their streets, be good community citizens and ensure the berms in front or to the side of their properties are mowed regularly.

Auckland Transport was given responsibility by Auckland Council for exceptions in the old ACC area. Auckland Transport may consider mowing berms adjacent to properties that are:

  • steep and mowing poses a significant safety hazard (1:4 gradient)
  • not to the front, side of, or directly accessible from the property
  • in town centres or major commercial centres
  • within road corridors at shopping centres
  • in front of unoccupied properties where non-maintenance will result in a traffic or fire hazard and impact negatively on visual amenity; or
  • have a swale, rain garden, overland flow path, open channel, drain or other stormwater asset within the berm

If residents/landowners are unable or unwilling to mow the grass berm, then Auckland Transport contractors will maintain it, on an as- and when-required basis to keep the grass at an acceptable length. The timing and frequency of this service is at the discretion of Auckland Transport and will vary depending on seasonal growth of the grass.

General information regarding berm maintenance

Concreting or paving a berm

  • Berms cannot be covered by concrete or other impervious materials.
  • Grass allows stormwater to soak into the ground and reduces the load on the city's stormwater system.
  • Utility services such as water, internet, phone and electrical cables may be located under the berm and easy access is needed for maintenance and repair.
  • Previous councils may have planted berms with trees which are compatable with services and drainage. Concrete surfaces would compromise the health of these trees.

Responsibilities for mowing berms

  • Retirement village - The owner should make arrangements for mowing.
  • Building with a body corporate - The body corporate arranges mowing.
  • Block of flats - Residents in common should make mowing arrangements.
  • Townhouse - Residents who share a berm should make arrangements.
  • Cross-leased property - owners sharing the berm should arrange mowing.
  • Tenants - agree with your landlord about mowing.
  • Landlords - agree with your tenants who is responsible.

If you wish to file a complaint please contact your local board who will be able to raise the matter with Auckland Council on your behalf.


Private planting on berms

Residents are not permitted to plant on berms. On rare occasions permission may be given but this requires an application to Auckland Transport for a licence specific to their circumstances.Read Auckland Transport's Encroachment Policy. Private planting in the road corridor can impact:

Safety

Private planting can adversely affect visibility of pedestrians, street signs and reduce sight lines at intersections and driveways. It can also encroach into footpaths and impede pedestrians particularly those who are visually impaired or wheel chair users.

Utility Services

Private planting can result in damage to utility services particularly lateral connections which are at a shallower depth. The presence of private planting also creates challenges for utility operators when maintaining existing infrastructure or installing new infrastructure. Root intrusion can also be an issue particularly from fruit trees.

Appearance

Private plantings have the potential to cause discontent between adjoining landowners who have differing views as to what is appropriate and the look and feel of neighbourhoods can be compromised by plantings that do not fit their environment. Most private planting is brought to our attention by complaints being made by adjoining landowners.

Benefit

Private planting on road reserve can blur the boundary between private property and public space and create an inappropriate expectation of ownership or control in respect to this public space by the landowner. An adjoining landowner has no more right of use of the road corridor outside their property than any other party. They also have no right of ownership of any flowers or produce grown in the road corridor.

Maintenance

Private plantings require on-going maintenance by landowners. If landowners lose interest or properties change hands then there is the risk that plantings will not be maintained and will have to be removed and the area re-sowed in grass at Auckland Transport’s expense.

Fruit trees can result in squashed and decaying fruit being deposited on the berm and/or footpath. If left, it can pose a nuisance to pedestrians and/or a health risk as it can attract vermin. Ground cover materials such as bark, pebbles or stones can be displaced onto footpaths and pose a nuisance to pedestrians.


Proposed planting guidelines

Auckland Transport has received feedback from various local boards on the issue of planting berms and we are now considering that feedback. It is proposed that private planting that complies with the following planting guidelines be a permitted activity: 

  • Planting to be undertaken by the adjoining landowner on the berm immediately adjacent to their property.
  • Planting is permitted in the back berm adjacent to the property boundary. The plants shall be no more than 600 mm in height at maturity and encroach no more than 600 mm into the road corridor.
  • Low level planting (<300 mm in height) may be undertaken between adjacent vehicle crossings or around mail boxes and street trees providing it does not encroach onto the footpath and does not exceed a total area of 2m.
  • Any excavations undertaken in the berm shall be not more than 200 mm deep and care shall be taken to avoid damage to any existing utility structures.
  • Plants shall have a shallow root mass so as to not interfere with utility structures.
  • Ground cover shall not include loose materials such as bark, rocks or stones which can be displaced onto the footpath or carriageway.
  • The planting of fruit trees and vegetables is not permitted. Neither is the planting of any noxious or invasive species or any plant which has hard, sharp or pointed leaves or thorns.
  • Any planting shall not be edible or grown for sale.
  • Any planting stakes used shall be less than 600 mm in height and not sharp or protruding so as to pose a hazard to road users.
  • The proposed planting must be in keeping with the existing streetscape and amenity values in the area.
  • The adjoining landowner shall ensure the planted area is maintained weed free and in a neat and tidy state.
  • No agrichemicals such as herbicides or pesticides shall be used.
  • The area must be replanted in grass on request by Auckland Transport or when the property is sold.


Any proposed planting that does not fully comply with these Planting Guidelines will require lodgement of an application to Auckland Transport and the issuing of a licence.


Maintenance considerations

Maintenance considerations for all footpaths will:

  • Ensure the Asset Management Plan will recognise the life of each footpath design and location and provide for adequate funding for maintenance and renewal programmes;
  • Enforce the requirements for quality reinstatement of surfaces following development in or access to the street environment (in accordance with the Condition for Use of the Street by Utility Operators);
  • Implement 'sectioning' of the footpath asset to ensure quality reinstatement. This involves the identification of sections of footpath of a designated area. Work undertaken within a section, would then involve complete reinstatement of the entire section, rather than a patch. This technique reduces the 'patchwork' appearance and maximises pedestrian safety and amenity;
  • Ensure all future footpath upgrade or renewal works are recorded on a Geographic Information System to improve monitoring and programming of future footpath works. This includes footpath works by private developers and utility companies.

If you wish to file a complaint please contact your local board who will be able to raise the matter with Auckland Council on your behalf.