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Our local road network includes all the land between property boundaries, the grass verge and the road shoulder, which together form a 'transport corridor'. However, maintaining roadside boundaries on state highways in our district are managed by the NZ Transport Agency.
We need to ensure these areas of our local roads are appropriately maintained so any roadside fencing and grassed areas (verges) on roadside reserves don't create road safety, access or visibility issues for road users.
Note that if you're creating or altering a vehicle entranceway or crossing, you'll need to get in touch with us first. See the information below and phone our freephone 0800 492 452 or make a request for service. If somebody's vehicle entranceway is affecting footpath access or safety, find out how to report a road or footpath issue.
Our other road maintenance activities include road surface maintenance and repairs, footpaths, drainage issues, road signs and markings, street and amenity lighting, street cleaning, kerb and catchpit cleaning and the maintenance of railway/road level crossing warning equipment.
If you need to temporarily fence the roadside reserve area for any purpose, you need to use the appropriate materials and set the fence up following the guidelines below. In particular, fences used to contain grazing animals can pose serious safety risks for users of the grass verge.
- Use appropriate materials that are flexible or breakable, such as electric fence standards (pigtails) or the plastic equivalent.
- Place these at least three metres away from the edge of the road.
Don't use more permanent materials (such as waratahs), as they aren't suitable. They pose a high risk to people inside cars if a vehicle runs off the road into your temporary fence.
For further information on roadside fencing, refer to the Roadside and temporary fencing information flier or contact the Permits and Bylaws Administrator. You can also use our application form to apply for permission to put up a temporary fence (no fee applies).
Using the appropriate fencing as outlined above is crucial to ensure road and roadside safety. Find out more about roads and livestock.
Verge (berm) maintenance
If you're a property owner, you're responsible for maintaining the grassed area in front of your property. Otherwise it can become a fire or vermin hazard. However, Council contractors also carry out weed spraying, mowing and/or pruning as required along the road edge of these areas each year. Find out more below about weed spraying and overhanging vegetation.
Do not plant along the roadside verge/road reserve because this can cause issues when we are undergoing maintenance.
No spray register
If you don't want us to weed spray your grassed area, please let us know - we'll put you on our No Spray Register. You'll need to agree to meet certain conditions in relation to alternative maintenance of your property frontage.
Download an application form for a no spray zone.
Benefits of our spraying programme
We spray roadside verges about once or two times a year based on area/road. Our spray programme helps us to:
- keep road drainage systems clear
- get rid of noxious and undesirable plants
- ensure road users have a clear line of sight on corners.
We also clear weeds away from the base of signs, posts and other street features, so our mowing contractors don't need to get too close to them. This reduces the risk of any damage to these features and/or the mowing equipment.
Trees and hedges planted by the Council on road reserves are pruned so they remain healthy while also improving pedestrian access and assisting safety by increasing road users' visibility.
Generally it's expected that as a property owner, you are responsible for pruning and trimming vegetation from plants on your property if they start getting in the way of people walking by or if they restrict visibility for road users. The Council can also use provisions within the Local Government Act to address these issues if needed.
To report overgrown vegetation, request a service. However, if it's affecting or getting too close to power lines, you should also let WEL Networks know about it. For more information, see trees and vegetation and tree-trimming on their website. To report an issue, call the WEL Networks freephone on 0800 800 935.