The bus has been parked at Puhoi Memorial Park for months.
A barbecue, camping equipment and stored items surround the bus.
A bus that has been parked in the Puhoi Pioneers Memorial Park for months has attracted the ire of residents who insist it must go.
Puhoi Community Forum chair Paul Manton says residents have made numerous complaints to Auckland Council about the 70s-era Bedford bus, but to no avail.
Mr Manton says the problem started around November last year, when the bus appeared with a man living in it.
Along with the bus there was a car, a boat and barbecue all parked in Memorial Park near the community orchard.
Residents resented the fact that the bus and associated paraphernalia was taking up a community space that was used for farmers’ markets, sports events and horse riding.
“We don’t mind the odd freedom camper staying one or two nights, but this was taking the mickey a bit,” Mr Manton says.
Residents eventually asked the man to leave. He did so, taking the boat and the car, but the bus remained, doing little to improve local tempers.
“What gives him the right to park there for free and store his bus? Memorial Park is a community park for the community, not for the benefit of individuals who should know better,” Mr Manton says.
He worries that the bus will set a precedent, encouraging others to bring their caravans and their boats and “everything else” and park them in Memorial Park.
He fears the park could be turned into a campground that would quickly overburden the public toilets.
Mr Manton says Council must know who the owner is because he understands the owner promised a Council officer to move the bus “imminently”, but that was more than two months ago.
He says he has been told that Council has no money to move the bus itself. He offered to have the vehicle towed away at residents’ expense, but Council “were not keen on that idea”.
Meanwhile, Auckland Council team leader for compliance investigations David Pawson confirmed that Council was aware of the bus, but did not respond when asked if Council knew who the owner of the bus was and whether a Council officer had spoken to him or her.
He did say Council officers visited the site on May 21, but the owner of the bus was not present.
Mr Pawson says Council’s enforcement policy was first to warn those of the no camping rule and use a Council-sponsored housing trust to provide help to the homeless.
“In this instance, the next steps will be for us to connect the bus owner with the relevant social services, before we taken enforcement action,” he says.
When Mahurangi Matters visited last week, it noted a barbecue, camping equipment and various stored items under tarpaulins next to the bus. The bus’s registration card expired in 2008.