Roadside Vegetation Control Underway in Tararua
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.