John Roughan on mowing of berms

John Roughan misses the point somewhat on the mowing of berms.

It is a bit of a chore to mow the berm. I live down a right of way and have to push the machine up there for a wedge of grass between my drive and the next. Too often I forget. It had never occurred to me that the council should do it.

The council most definitely should not. This is fast becoming the defining issue in Auckland’s election and it is a good one. It might seem trivial beside long-term population plans, housing densities and commuter rail schemes but unlike them, an uncut verge is visible, pressing and very close to home.

The problem John is that the council has socked those people 30% rates increased and reduced the services they are paying for. Their berms were mowed by the rapacious council, now they are getting less, despite paying more…of course that is going to cause anger.  

It is small beer I know but the politicians fob everyone off ont he big issues, so we may as well make them squirm on a small one.

The great berm debate has put council members on the spot. Do they have the courage of their decision last year? Or in the heat of the election, will they cut and run, so to speak?

An issue such as this is like gold when we get around to voting and need something better than bland candidate statements to help sort the sheep from the goats.

Now he is onto it…we have already seen Richard Northey and Cathy Casey squirm uncomfortably.

On one level it sets the old city where the previous council mowed the lawns, against the post-war suburbs of North Shore, Waitakere and Manukau where we have never presumed it should.

But I doubt any of us gave it a thought until the “Super City” decided it was a needless expense.

That was the sort of decision that is sorely needed when local government expands. Old Auckland was not the only place to bring an excessive service into the amalgamated city. Manukau had free swimming pools. Now this whole sea-blessed region provides free indoor swimming for children under 16 and Len Brown would extend it to everybody.

So far he is standing firm on the berms but the election has another week to run. Watch what happens.

I think Len has bigger problems to worry about.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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