25 Jun 2020

AT threatens to rip up planted berm which stops flooding

From First Up, 5:47 am on 25 June 2020

Rip it out - or we will.

That's what Auckland Transport has told the creator of a planted berm north of Auckland. It's after Manly resident Dee Pigneguy found herself in a standoff with Auckland Transport and some neighbours over the berm, which she planted to stop flooding and promote environmental awareness.

Our reporter Katie Doyle and cameraman Nick Monro first visited Dee last year, so they popped back to find out if she'll be saying goodbye to the berm.

Dee said the letter from Auckland Transport was very threatening.

"It virtually tells us that we are public nuisances and, if we don't return this berm to a desert of grass in which no life can possibly exist, they will come out and do it themselves and it will cost $3450."

However, she's not going down without a fight. She says the berm is sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

She used the berm to plant food she could provide to people who may have been struggling due to Covid-19.

In a statement, Auckland Transport said it has received a total of four complaints.

It said staff visited the site on 23 June and will look again to see if a compromise can be reached.

But Dee says she's made multiple attempts to contact them with no results.

"I would've thought, if they had a problem with my berm, they would send someone out here to speak to me. They must have staff if they've got enough staff to keep hassling me."