Road­side Veg­e­ta­tion Con­trol Un­der­way in Tararua

Bush Telegraph - - FOCUS ON FARMING -

With good weather con­di­tions and spring growth putting a smile on the faces of many Tararua Dis­trict farm­ers, the Tararua Al­lianceos road­side veg­e­ta­tion con­trol pro­gramme is un­der­way to en­sure roads are safe for mo­torists.

The phigh-cutq, which fo­cuses on trim­ming branches that over­hang the road, is cur­rently be­ing com­pleted in the north­ern ar­eas of the Tararua dis­trict. This will be placed on hold from early Novem­ber to en­able one round of road­side verge mow­ing to be com­pleted on all of the dis­tric­tos 1,185km of ru­ral sealed roads prior to Christ­mas, be­fore con­tin­u­ing in the New Year.

pWe­ore lucky to have the ser­vices of Gra­ham Hop­kinsq, says Ray Can­non, Tararua Al­liance Per­for­mance Man­ager. pGra­ham has been com­plet­ing veg­e­ta­tion con­trol in the dis­trict for more than 40 years and knows Tararuaos road as well as any­oneq, Ray says.

Also un­der­way is the veg­e­ta­tion spray­ing pro­gramme. This is fo­cussed on en­sur­ing water can flow away from the road ef­fec­tively, by spray­ing road­side sur­face water chan­nels, and on safety by im­prov­ing mo­torist sight dis­tance and the vis­i­bil­ity of signs, mark­ers and sight rails.

A change from re­cent years is the spray­ing of un­sealed road verges. Veg­e­ta­tion has largely been un­con­trolled on the dis­tric­tos 773km of un­sealed roads, pre­dom­i­nantly due to costs and de­sire to keep rates down. This was changed how­ever dur­ing Coun­ci­los re­cent Long Term Plan process, fol­low­ing anal­y­sis of cus­tomer re­quests and Coun­cil­loros dis­cus­sions with ratepay­ers.

pDur­ing the Long Term Plan process we lis­tened to what our com­mu­nity wanted us to in­vest their rates inq, says Mayor Tracey Col­lis, pIm­proved veg­e­ta­tion con­trol on our many un­sealed roads came through loud and clear, and we are re­spond­ing to thatq.

This year, where re­quired for veg­e­ta­tion con­trol the first 1.5m of road­side veg­e­ta­tion will be sprayed, pre­dom­i­nantly for safety by im­prov­ing mo­torist sight dis­tance, but also to con­trol the es­tab­lish­ment of un­wanted pest plants. Spray­ing of un­sealed roads is com­mon prac­tice among other lo­cal Coun­ci­los and is con­sid­ered the best op­tion for many roads around New Zealand. pWe are aware that this will be un­sightly for some, but it is a ser­vice level the dis­tric­tos ratepay­ers can af­ford with­out the need for sig­nif­i­cant rate in­creases. Var­i­ous op­tions were con­sid­ered, in­clud­ing mow­ing, how­ever to cost dif­fer­ence over 800km of road was sig­nif­i­cantq says Chris Chap­man, Tararua Al­liance Man­ager. Spray­ing of al­ready main­tained road­sides will be highly un­likely, and for those want­ing to en­sure no spray­ing will oc­cur out­side their prop­erty, Coun­cil main­tains a nNo Spray Zo­neo reg­is­ter.q

While there is a charge to list your prop­erty on the reg­is­ter this charge does not ap­ply to prop­er­ties that are cer­ti­fied and reg­is­tered as Or­ganic.

For those prop­erty own­ers al­ready main­tain­ing their own verges it is not com­pul­sory to sign up, how­ever to guar­an­tee their verge will not be sprayed, own­ers are ad­vised to do so.

In­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing this can be found on Coun­cils web­site.

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