Scrap the gardening grants for leafy-suburb property owners

Press Release – Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance

Orakei Local Board’s grants distributed to help property owners prune their trees is a perfect example of wasteful spending, says the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance.

Orakei Local Board has approved 15 “tree protection” grants since 2016, averaging $710 each, received by applicants seeking to prune large trees on their properties. Examples include $1,380 for reshaping a Pin Oak, $1,000 for pruning a Liquid Amber tree, and $1,000 for pruning a Camphor Laurel tree. Details are visible in meeting minutes here: [1] [2] [3] [4].

Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Jo Holmes says, “The Local Board needs to seriously reconsider its priorities if it thinks this is a sensible use of ratepayer money. Gardening and tree pruning is clearly the responsibility of the property owner, not ratepayers who expect their money to be used on vital core services.

“These aren’t even necessarily scheduled or native trees. They just happen to be on the property of people cheeky enough to ask ratepayers to cover their gardener.”

“These types of grants benefit a select minority of usually wealthy Aucklanders at the expense of the general ratepayer. Orakei Local Board should stick to its knitting, maintaining footpaths and parks used by everyone, not beautifying private property.”

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