Letter to the Editor: The state of Meola Creek

Looking at the state of Meola Creek from the bridge immediately behind Pasadena School is distressing.

The lack of weed control by the Auckland Council's contractors has allowed many areas to become overgrown with invasive vegetation. This has restricted the flow of the stream allowing even more invasive plant growth.

Most distressing is having had discussions with contractors while crossing this same bridge on two separate occasions. They were spraying the banks with the contents of their backpacks. Both times they verified it was "Roundup"!

This is not the first time council contractors have been observed applying glyphosate in unsuitable conditions. In response to my official complaint to Auckland Council in October 2021, Mr Karl Beaufort, Community Facilities Manager wrote, "We have also instructed the contractor to provide us with a written plan on how they will address this issue and prevent it occurring again".

However, it would appear the council’s instruction had little control or monitoring of the behaviour of contractors with regard to the use of glyphosate, as I again observed, and had confirmed, the use of Roundup in November 2021. Mr Beaufort’s reply acknowledged this second complaint by saying, "...they have since returned to the same location and undertaken the same activity in exactly the same conditions reported in your first complaint. This is not acceptable behaviour from our contractor and the matter has been referred to the contract manager to address through performance management within the contract bounds".

So my query is, why is the council contractor not fulfilling their contractual obligations by keeping the waterways around Western Springs clear of vegetation and importantly, why are they still using glyphosate when the Waitematā Local Board have assured this area would be free from this poison?

Linda Hill, by email

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