After The Gathering we received follow-up queries about the mowing arrangements for the broad areas of lawn at the upper part of Buckley Avenue.

The committee decided back in February to approve a mowing contract for that area. It will run through to the next AGM in October.

The decision was made on the grounds that the society’s constitution requires the committee to “ensure the proper control, operation, maintenance, repair, renovation and replacement of the Common Areas (where this is a Society responsibility,) Facilities and Services by the levying of members for the purpose of providing funds for and to meet the costs and expenses of such work.”

It could be argued that it is Auckland Council’s responsibility to keep that area looking good.

Of course, all Auckland residents are expected to keep their own berms tidy but Buckley’s broad swathes have been a special case as it is AT policy to handle central reservations on major arterial roads or where berms cut across more than one house. Buckley qualifies for AT maintenance, but despite our best efforts it was a struggle to get regular mowing happening there last summer.

The Parks Department and AT were arguing over which of them should be doing the job, and meanwhile the entry to the western side of the Point was turning into a jungle.

We were receiving many complaints – not just from residents but also from visitors and real estate agents who were pointing out that it looked like no one was caring for the Point any more… not good for real estate values overall!

The committee therefore approved payment to a regular contractor of $1,442.72 inc. gst per month. Split between 1138 homes (the number of homes on which the budget was raised at the last AGM), the cost to each household is $1.27 per month.

More then 300 extra homes have been added since then, so the cost per household will be commensurately lower now.

More public spaces like this will gradually be turned over from HLC care to Auckland Council management, and so there will be other green areas that future committees may decide would also be best cared for by regular contractors (paid out of our levies), rather than relying on more intermittent attention from council bodies.