Weed backlog under control by Christmas, council says

A backlog in grass and weed maintenance in Dunedin is expected to be cleared by Christmas.

Fulton Hogan picked up a 10-year roading maintenance contract from the Dunedin City Council this year, but has had some difficulty controlling vegetation.

DCC transport group manager Jeanine Benson said the council was working with Fulton Hogan and its vegetation control subcontractor, Whitestone, to clear the backlog.

Extra crews had been brought in and she expected they would catch up on the work by Christmas.

Fulton Hogan took over the contract from Downer in May, when only essential work was allowed during the Covid-19 lockdown.

That caused some delays, adding to the complexity of the transition, Ms Benson said.

"The parties have experienced teething troubles during the transition ...," she said.

At the time the $260million contract was awarded, the council emphasised that quality of service was important.

Ms Benson said the contract allowed penalties to be imposed if there were problems for an extended period, but the council’s focus was on supporting the companies to catch up on the work.

"We are confident the extra efforts of all concerned mean the problems are well on the way to being resolved."


The problem is that the grass has been left to grow for so long, during a period of rapid growth, that when it is cut you are left with unsightly half-cut grass and piles of cut grass that should have been removed.

The road verges on SH88 between Frederick St and the Stadium roundabout look like they are partially mown paddocks.

West Harbour areas are massively overgrown (look at the state of the grass areas at Maia where election hoardings are sited), areas that once were keep pretty tidy. I think people will be happy if the catch-up work doesn't result in ugly, half cut reserves with piles of cut grass all over the place.

If the grass and weeds were reclassified as car parks the DCC would get rid of them much quicker.

HA HA HA... but also true. Also, maybe I am missing something - but isn't $260 million over 10 years rather excessive. That's $26 million a year to mow all the grass around the city. Methinks someone is making a bundle somewhere.







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