Unwanted greenery giving city a 'Third World' look

The large weeds appearing on Dunedin streets made the city look ''Third World'', a disgruntled inner-city resident says.

Roy Kenny has lived in York Pl for 35 years and does not like the look of the new residents sprouting from the concrete kerb.

''Look at these weeds. I used to spray them myself but I have given up ... Why should I have to keep spraying them at my expense when I am already paying what I consider to be excessive rates.''

While he continued to spray his property frontage, he stopped spraying the kerb with herbicide a year ago, and was now greeted each day by the sight of 30cm-high weeds and even a large thistle.

''If I let all my street frontage go like this,'' he said, pointing to the weeds, ''it will begin to look like a wilderness and people go away with a not very good impression of the city''.

''This is Third World stuff.''

Dunedin City Council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring told the Otago Daily Times contractors had moved away from non-toxic spraying of weeds several years ago, with a salt solution now the preferred application.

''There are some places around town that are getting a bit hairy, but when the weather is warm and wet it just goes a bit crazy.''

Contractors were expected to increase spraying of city streets over the next few weeks, and ''they will be hitting it hard''.

Each Dunedin street could expect to be sprayed about two or three times during a growing season.

''If we do get any complaints ...it is usually the area we are about to move into.''

The council was responsible for weed-spraying up to a property's boundary, he said.


Hard Knox tidy up

Good. This follows on from last year's sensible prohibition of hazing traditions at Knox College.

Knox Church clean-up

Joy! A strong woman, wearing correct safety gear and working a weedeater has been attacking weeds and long grass today in the church grounds. Well done you.

Third world?

That would have to be a compliment. Take a drive up the main street and see how bumpy/uneven it is. The roads in Afghanistan would have to be better. No doubt, this is partly due to some clowns deciding that city beautification equals uneven paving blocks all along the street. Not to mention all the jutty out bits that just make things worse and more congested.

And now they have started to do the same with the main street of South Dunedin. Let's just waste more money we don't have.

Certainly doesn't make me want to go to town to shop. I do most of my shopping online now so I don't have to contend with this.

Stuff the weeds

What about all the rubbish about the streets?


Holly hedge

Someone has kindly made a start on salvaging the hedge! Thank you.

South Dunedin

I noticed last week they sprayed a few streets in SD, but the weeds have not died at all.

Whats new about this?

For years I have looked after my Hocken St frontage . . . spraying the weeds and sweeping the gutter!

There use to be a gutter sweeping truck which came around maybe monthly (which was useless anyway, because of obstructing vehicles).

The solution is to go back to manual labour, employing people with brooms - perfect job for unemployed or supervised day release prisoners! They would clean all the streets' drain grates as well to stop surprise flooding.

Knox Church holly hedge

The Knox Church holly hedge to Pitt Street has been carefully shaped and maintained for many years - no longer. This year the parish has allowed the hedge to be overtaken by ivy, and the holly itself has been let go. Why don't they seek a young volunteer with the right cutting gear and time to regularly tend the hedge; and see to weed removal from the connecting short section of bank to the south end of Knox Hall down off the street, which has previously been weed controlled. It's not a huge job. Why wreck a good boundary hedge to the street and create a fire risk due to long grass?

First world problems

If this is all we have to worry about in Dunedin, I feel quite secure.  Have you tried logging a request through the council website? I do regularly for the plants when they block the pavement on my way home, and they get dealt with promptly.


The gorse in Dunedin has already been making us look 3rd world even compared to the rest of NZ for years. No other major NZ city allows gorse to grow within its urban area. Why do we?

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Naseby General StoreNasebyDairies
Metro GlasstechCromwellGlass Merchants & Glaziers
Alexandra Electrical LtdAlexandraElectricians
Wanaka New WorldWanakaSupermarkets