Maurice and Pauline Prendergast examine the handiwork of a
Dunedin City Council contractor who missed weeds but
sprayed healthy grass outside their Wingatui home. Photo by
Weeds might be escaping the attention of Dunedin City
Council contractors' sprayguns but it appears perfectly healthy
strips of grass aren't always so lucky.
Days after concerns were raised about weeds getting out of
hand, former city councillor Maurice Prendergast has
complained about spraying on a grass verge outside his
It appeared the council contractor had missed some of the
weeds clogging a stormwater ditch outside his home but scored
a direct hit on nearby neatly cropped grass.
The target zone was a piece of council-owned road reserve
which now boasted a long strip of dead grass, while the
nearby ditch still sported a healthy clump of weeds at one
The weeds were supposed to be sprayed to prevent them
blocking the ditch and causing flooding, but it appeared the
contractor had ''paid no attention whatsoever to the job
description'', Mr Prendergast said.
He believed whoever did the work was riding a quad bike and
using a boom to apply the spray.
They had managed to spray one end of the ditch full of weeds
but not the other end, and other sections of ditch further up
his street were not sprayed at all.
He believed the council should enforce any penalty clause in
the contract to punish the contractor for the quality of
His wife, Pauline, said the quality of work was
Council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring said the
latest complaint would be investigated and the contractor
asked to rectify the fault at their own cost.
Spraying was part of the council road maintenance contract
held by Fulton Hogan but subcontracted to Delta.
Penalty clauses were part of the contract, but for ''gross
negligence'', and the council preferred to see how
contractors responded to lower-level complaints, Mr Standring
He had no particular concerns with the overall quality of
work, despite recent criticisms, and had not received any
other complaints similar to the Prendergasts'.
''You are talking about the small percentage ... the majority
of the work that's done is done to a good standard.
''It [recent problems] is out of standard, it's out of sorts,
but it will take nothing to get it back into shape,'' he