A group of Millwater residents concerned about Council’s use of Roundup around their local playground (HM December 16, 2015) has offered to take over weed management themselves.
In a presentation to the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board’s February meeting, supported by Cr John Watson, Shona Roberts and Ingrid Milne of Millwater said their group is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep the park looking good so they can be sure no toxic sprays are used where their children play.
The playground, in Botanical Drive, is the only one that’s fenced in the area, so is popular with parents of young children.
Local board members were receptive to the idea and said it could be a pilot scheme with broader application in Auckland, which Parks and Reserves committee chair Janet Fitzgerald said could be similar to the Adopt a Park/Beach model in Australia.
Member Lisa Whyte said that a formalised arrangement would need to be made so that there were clear lines of responsibility and a standard maintained.
“We could establish it as a No Spray park and the group’s status as its caretakers,” Lisa said. “People will be watching to see if they could take care of their local park, so we need to do it properly.”
She said that while some ratepayers consider that if you pay rates you shouldn’t be doing the work as well, it was more about taking pride in your environment and being proactive in making choices about things like sprays.
Janet said the next stage would be to meet with parks staff and contractors Recreational Services to discuss the plan.
She suggests that anyone keen to see a return to mechanical methods of weeding around the edges in parks, instead of sprays, should make a submission to the Annual Plan 2016/17 (budget), which is out for consultation now. Submission forms can be downloaded from shapeauckland.co.nz. Submissions close on March 24.