Anger over ugly path

Eastern Courier - - FRONT PAGE - TARANNUM SHAIKH

Un­tidy, butchered and dis­gust­ing are words peo­ple are us­ing to de­scribe the state of their lo­cal parks and re­serves in the East Auck­land area.

Two weeks af­ter an Eastern Courier ar­ti­cle on Novem­ber 1, head­lined ‘Long grass takes over’, dis­grun­tled mem­bers of the com­mu­nity have come for­ward to share sto­ries about their favourite green spots.

One group is Joan Ford and her neigh­bours Fanny Ma and Jenny and Steven Yuen of Botany Downs.

Ford of­ten goes for a stroll with her dog Ricky along the Cas­cade Walk­way that runs be­hind her home and next to Paku­ranga Golf Club.

‘‘We love walk­ing it. It’s so quiet and peace­ful and I take my dog ev­ery day on a lead,’’ she says.

‘‘I live on my own and some morn­ings you feel a bit down and once I’ve done that walk, I come back and feel good.’’

What has usu­ally been a sense of com­fort for her has now turned into a feel­ing of out­rage at the state the pub­lic walk­way is in.

The grass is over­grown and the once friendly plants have now started to over­crowd and reach out onto the path.

‘‘It’s not only be­cause it looks un­sightly but be­cause it’s gone to seed and in the wind it’s blow­ing the seeds over the fence into peo­ple’s gar­dens. I do speak for ev­ery­one in the street, it’s al­ways been so lovely to go walk­ing ev­ery day. Now it just churns me up and makes me an­gry,’’ Ford says.

‘‘In all the years I’ve lived here it’s never been ne­glected like that. It’s up­set­ting all of a sud­den when it goes like that.’’

She says the grass has also been cut in an un­orderly fash­ion, only at the edges of the foot­path, by the new Auck­land Coun­cil con­trac­tors who have taken over.

‘‘The con­trac­tor they’ve got now has just gone along the edge, where the foot­path ends and the grass starts and goes right down to the creek, and has only done one width of it with his trac­tor.’’

Up the walk­way and past Cas­cades Road bridge, Golflands res­i­dent Bill Bain is one of many who de­cided to take mat­ters into his own hands.

‘‘What’s hap­pened is there’s been a lot of over­growth of big weeds and this­tles. Be­cause there’s so much of them they’ve en­croached and the path is a lot nar­rower,’’ Bain ex­plains.

‘‘It’s very un­sightly and peo­ple get quite an­gry be­cause it’s nar­row­ing the path,’’ he says.

Con­tin­ued on page 3

Price: $895,000

Sin­gle-level three-bed­room home with spa­cious deck, con­ser­va­tory and dou­ble car garage plus work­shop. Sold by Tony de Leeuw, Bay­leys Manukau.

‘‘It just churns me up and makes me an­gry.’’

Real Es­tate, pages 15-30

TARANNUM SHAIKH / STUFF

Dis­ap­pointed Botany Downs res­i­dents Jenny and Steven Yuen, Joan Ford, Fanny Ma and walker Maria Rowe with a friend’s dog.

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