Berm garden protest growing
Last updated 16:50, October 27 2015
Insect friendly plants on an Auckland berm.
A petition against Auckland Transport's proposed new rules banning planting veges and fruit on roadside verges has almost 4000 signatures.
NZ Gardener magazine's petition is fighting the draft rules which would see homeowners pay $150 for a licence to plant their berms beyond tough proposed regulations.
Under AT's new regulations all that will be allowed on berms are plants no higher than 30cm around trees and mailboxes, and over a total area of no more than two square metres.
NZ Gardener editor Jo McCarroll.
Vegetable plants and fruit trees are to be banned because AT claims they attract vermin.
"Back berms" - an area on the other side of the footpath closest to a house - may be planted, but only to a height of 60cm.
It cited road safety issues and neighbourhood disputes as problems caused by planted berms.
NZ Gardener editor Jo McCarroll says the petition, which has 3571 signatures so far, has gained alot of interest from Auckland residents.
She said banning the growing of fruit and veges on the verge was ridiculous.
"We're calling for Auckland Transport to drop this silly rule. We think these shared spaces could be used to produce food, connect neighbours and communities, share skills and grow for bees and beneficial insects. We're calling on Kiwi gardeners to use this space in a productive way - possibly to grow fruit, veges and herbs that they are happy to share with your family and your community," she said.
She had also set up a challenge, dubbed Berm Idol, to Aucklanders to send the magazine pictures of the region's prettiest berm.
"We want to show Auckland Transport beautiful planted berms to help them see that the new rules are a bit draconian and that there are berms in Auckland that are not causing any problems at all," she said.
The berm that the magazine staff judge to be New Zealand's most beautiful will win a one-year subscription to NZ Gardener.
Meanwhile, a Neighbourly poll suggests most people agree that residents should be able to plant whatever they want on their berms.
The poll results, so far, show 42.6 per cent believe the new rules should be abandoned, 18.5 per cent believe berms should be grass only, 10.1 per cent say people should only be able to plant flowers on their berms and 28.8 per cent say people should be able to plant flowers and veges on their berms.