Wel­come to Juras­sic Park, North­cote


Long-grass and weeds choke the en­trance to Tuff Crater, mak­ing the re­serve look like a scene from di­nosaur block­buster Juras­sic Park.

For sev­eral weeks, a plethora of com­plaints re­gard­ing un­mown grass on re­serves have swamped com­mu­nity Face­book, Neigh­bourly and the North Shore Times pages, from all four cor­ners of the North Shore.

The grass has got so high in a Hill­crest re­serve, Girl Guide Emily Whin­eray wrote to the North Shore Times say­ing she had strug­gled to put up a tent.

Auck­land Coun­cil ad­mits its new con­trac­tors have had teething prob­lems, which have been ex­ac­er­bated by an ex­cep­tion­ally wet win­ter.

Res­i­dent Mike Nes­bitt said the wet weather wasn’t an ex­cuse, and a recre­ational area next to North­cote Col­lege has been the most over­grown it has been in the 15 years he has walked in the area.

Tracy Peers from Cas­tor Bay said Monarch Park was in the worst state it had been in the 30-plus years she has lived in the neigh­bour­hood.

Recre­ational Ser­vices main­tained the North Shore’s parks, sport­ing fields and re­serves for 23 years un­til Australian com­pany Ven­tia took over, on July 1.

Un­der its con­tract, there was no set sched­ule for mow­ing but rather it was re­quired to en­sure the grass stayed be­low the max­i­mum length per­mit­ted.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s Agnes Mc­Cor­mack ad­mit­ted the new con­trac­tor ‘‘ini­tially faced some dif­fi­cul­ties’’.

‘‘They are cur­rently work­ing up to seven days a week to catch up on mow­ing and gar­dens,’’ Mc­Cor­mack said.

Anne Denny, who runs the weed vol­un­teer groups Tuff Crater Restora­tion Project said it has been very, very wet in some parts of Tuff Crater. ‘‘I’ve never seen it that bad be­fore,’’ Denny said. The over­grown grass makes it hard for Denny and her vol­un­teers, be­cause the weeds start to climb up the trees.

Mc­Cor­mack said Ven­tia started mow­ing Tuff Crater on Tues­day and the coun­cil ex­pects it to be com­pleted by end of Novem­ber 20.

‘‘Our staff are out in the field daily. We are con­fi­dent our ap­proach is hav­ing an ef­fect and the sit­u­a­tion will con­tinue to im­prove,’’ Mc­Cor­mack said.


The en­trance to Tuff Crater is choked with weeds and over­grown grass, as Auck­land Coun­cil con­tra­tors face dif­fi­cul­ties.

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