Funding cut for Maungakiekie-Tamaki park and garden maintenance

More than $100,000 is being cut from the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board's parks maintenance budget.

More than $100,000 is being cut from the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board's parks maintenance budget.

Local boards are struggling to maintain service levels in parks following funding cuts.

An Auckland Council spokeswoman says council decided to "harmonise" levels of service across the city as part of the Long Term Plan.

The decision came into effect on July 1 and reduced the frequency of garden maintenance work in Auckland parks, from monthly to two-monthly. It also meant mechanical edging was replaced with chemical spraying of edges.

It means local boards have to decide whether they will dip into their funds for locally driven initiatives to keep up the maintenance standards up.

"We have had $45,000 cut from the parks contract for the current financial year," Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board chairman Simon Randall says.

"There will be a further $60,000 on top of this cut for next year," he says.

Randall says the reduction in funds has resulted in the weeding of garden beds being changed from fortnightly to monthly.

"The next lot of cuts will be harder, we will be reducing the frequency of flower bed plantings, so people will start to notice the reduced maintenance," he says.

Randall says his board will not dip into its funding for locally driven initiatives to fill the gap.

"We have limited funds and it is a matter of balance. That money is currently used for community events, grants and support for local organisations."

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The decision to reduce the frequency of park maintenance and turn to chemical edging has saved $320,000 per annum across the North Shore and $2 million in Auckland.

About $3.2 million is spent on park maintenance in the Maungakiekie-Tamaki area every year. This includes mowing, gardening, cleaning toilets and bins, weed and pest control and maintaining playgrounds.

 - Stuff

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