Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Who owns the grass verge? Those that grow on it

Two years ago, Auckland Council announced it would no longer mow the verges, known locally as berms, handing responsibility for maintaining them to local residents instead. Its seems some people became a little too green-fingered for the local authority's liking, filling the patches of land with flower beds, fruit trees and vegetables.

"Let's plant gardens so people can have access to food," says Aucklander Richard Green, who grows vegetables and shares them with his neighbours. 

Now the agency in charge of regulating the verges, Auckland Transport, wants to ban people from growing food on the land because of concerns over vermin, and plans to require residents to apply for a NZ$150 ($102; £66) permit before creating "berm gardens". The agency says there's also a road safety risk. "It's people, little kids, running out from behind tall-growing vegetables or plants, and running out onto the road and getting hit by a car," spokesman Tony McCartney explained

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