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Auckland Transport threaten to clear award-winning planted berm

Nearly 30 years have been spent by Mark van Kaathoven and his husband Gene Dillman transforming their garden in Freemans Bay into an “urban jungle”.

The successful redesign of their garden led to van Kaathoven planting greenery in the berms followed by requests from neighbours for their berms to be planted too.

These plantings have aided in flood protection and have been acknowledged by Watercare in an article for the water conservation this provides. NZ Gardens Trust awarded the garden five-star garden and van Kaathoven has received a good citizen award by the local board for his work.

Recently, complaints have been received by Auckland Transport with safety concerns for the berm plantings. Now Auckland Transport are threatening to clear them.

According to Auckland Transport, approval is required before planting in berms.

Van Kaathoven received a letter advising to cut back the plants to a “suitable level” which he is willing to do, however the areas Auckland Transport have asked to cut-back are too much according to van Kaathoven. The letter threatened to clear the berm except for it’s original trees if they weren’t cut back.

Van Kaathoven began planting these berms in 1995 when Auckland Transport didn’t exist yet. He feels that Auckland Transport should have tried to contact him years ago before these plants were established.

For the full story by Melanie Earley, click here.



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