Auckland Transport considers feedback on berm planting

Publish Date : 20 Oct 2015

Auckland Transport (AT) has received feedback from local boards on the subject of planting berms and is now considering that feedback.

To date, AT has continued the approach of previous councils and has not encouraged private planting in the road corridor.

In practice some discretion is applied, with landowners only asked to remove unauthorised plantings if the planting poses a nuisance or a complaint is received from an adjoining landowner.

Generally the planting of ground cover flowers against boundary fences, between driveways or around mailboxes or street trees has not posed a problem in the past and has not warranted any action being taken.

The planting of steep banks and slopes either above or below the road which appear to be private land and not easily accessible to the general public has also been permitted. 

Potential issues caused by planting on berms


Private planting can reduce visibility for pedestrians, obscure street signs and reduce sight lines at intersections and driveways. It can also encroach into footpaths and impede pedestrians, particularly wheelchair users or those who are visually impaired.


Private plantings require ongoing maintenance by landowners. If landowners lose interest or properties change hands then there is the risk that plantings will not be maintained and will have to be removed and the area re-sowed in grass at ratepayers' expense.

Health and safety issues

Fruit trees can result in squashed and decaying fruit being deposited on the berm or footpath. This can create health risks as it may attract vermin. Ground cover materials such as bark, pebbles or stones can be displaced onto footpaths and pose a nuisance to pedestrians.

Utility services

Private planting can result in damage to utility services, particularly lateral connections that are at a shallower depth. Private planting also creates challenges for utility operators when maintaining existing infrastructure or installing new infrastructure. Root intrusion can also be an issue, particularly from fruit trees.



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