The Berm Maintenance Policy covers the responsibilities of property owners for maintaining the grass berm bordering their property. It also covers berms outside Council properties.

Berm Maintenance Policy

For the purpose of the Berm Maintenance Policy a berm is the grassed area between the carriageway and either the footpath or property boundary.

Urban Berms are defined as berms that are within the speed limit zone of 70-80 km/hr or less within a township. Rural Berms are on roads where the speed limit is greater than 70- 80 km/hr speed zone.

Vegetation and fire risk is not managed under this policy.

Berms Adjacent to Council Property

Council maintains grass berms outside Council Property including Reserves, Cemeteries, Facilities (Pools, Halls, Community Centres, Libraries), Gravel pits, Forestry Blocks, Rental  Housing. The mowing will be managed either directly by Council, via committees or in accordance with lease conditions where the Council property is leased.

Berms Adjacent to Private Property

Council will not maintain grass berms or frontages of private property throughout the district, except where otherwise provided for in this Policy. Adjacent property owners are encouraged to mow berms outside their property.

Council generally do not maintain berms that contain stormwater treatment such as swales, basins, overland flow paths, provided that they can be safely mown using a hand or rotary mower, and adjacent property owners are encouraged to mow these berms.

Approval must be sought from Council prior to any landscaping or decoration on or in berm areas. Approval if granted, will be on the basis that the adjacent owner assumes responsibility to maintain such berms and that:

  • If at any stage berms are required to be altered or excavated as part of maintenance or capital works, adjoining property owners will remove landscaping and decorations on notice of the works, and reinstatement of the landscaping and/or decorations is at the adjacent property owner's cost; and
  • if at any stage Council decides at its discretion to revert the landscaped and/or decorated berm to a grass berm this is at the adjacent property owner's cost.

Berms that are on a State Highway are managed under a national NZTA contract, and are not managed under this Policy.

Exceptions for Berms Adjacent to Private Property

Private Property owners can apply to the Council for the berms adjoining their property to be mown. Council Asset Engineers will assess berms against the current mowing assessment matrix to determine whether Council will carry out berm mowing.

Council may mow urban grass berms that contain stormwater treatment such as swales, basins, overland flow paths to protect the asset or carriageway, to ensure efficient operation of the asset, to meet regulatory requirements and/or if the asset can not be maintained safely by the adjoining property owner due to its design.

Council may mow urban or rural berms to ensure the safety of vehicular, pedestrian or cycle traffic is maintained.

Council may mow berms where the berms do not clearly relate to a single adjacent property, such as the entrances to subdivisions.

Council may mow berms in any other circumstances where Council considers it necessary or reasonable to do so.

Any decision made to mow a berm under these exceptions is at Council's discretion.

New Berms

Council contractors establish and mow new grass berms that are sown as part of roadworks, footpath resurfacing or trenching for a minimum maintenance period of three months after completion of the work. Once the maintenance period of the work has expired, berm mowing will be managed in according with this Policy.

Developers are responsible for the establishment and mowing of new grass berms that are sown as part of subdivision construction. Once the maintenance period of the work has expired, the berm mowing will be managed in accordance with this Policy.

Construction Works

Where existing grass berms are required to be excavated or altered as part of Council maintenance or capital works, Council will re-establish the grass and Council-installed street trees and associated irrigation. Letter boxes will be reinstated.

Where a private property owner arranges work to excavate or alter the berms as a result of works to their property or neighbouring property, the cost of reinstatement of berm will be met by that owner.

If you have a query please email transportation@selwyn.govt.nz