A berm is the grassed area that sits between the road and either the footpath or the property boundary.
Berm maintenance responsibility
- It is the responsibility of the property owner to mow the berm outside of their property as part of the general land maintenance.
- If the berm poses a safety risk (such as a steep gradient) then the property owner can apply for it to be maintained by Auckland Council instead. Please note that there are strict criteria to be eligible for Auckland Council berm maintenance. For more information, contact Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.
- Auckland Transport is responsible for repairing damaged grass berms and verges. Auckland Council mows the grass berms or verges where it is not possible for the property owner to mow the berm or verge.
Private planting on berms
Residents are not permitted to plant on berms, in accordance with the Activities in the Road Corridor Bylaw. Private planting in the road corridor can impact:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.