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Hamilton City Council has now received much-awaited safety approvals to start weeding and replanting the city’s state highway gardens and medians.

To keep everyone safe, in particular people working on the roadside, additional safety requirements have been put in place and it has taken some time to develop a plan that meets the needs of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Council and contractors. This unfortunately has led to unwanted weeds and overgrowth in areas along the city’s state highway network.

Gordon Naidoo, Council’s Transport Unit Director, is pleased to see the state highway gardening schedule begin.

“While this delay has not been ideal, Waka Kotahi has introduced changes to ensure the safety of everyone working on our state highways – no matter what the type of work may be,” said Naidoo.

“The safety of our people is paramount. We will never compromise on our workers’ safety.

I really want to thank the community for their patience as we have worked through these issues gaining access to work on our state highways’ garden areas.”

The state highway replanting plan consists of three phases:

  • weed removal and weed control, clearing out unwanted vegetation, and pruning back existing plants and trees
  • a second round of weed control, followed by mulching, to ensure we can effectively manage weed regrowth and keep our state highway gardens looking tidy until we can replant in autumn
  • replanting the gardens. Once this is complete mid-next year, the gardens will be back to standard, and we’ll return to a normal maintenance schedule.

“It’s been some time since we’ve been able to get to work on the gardens along our state highways, so we’ll first need to do a few rounds of weed removal,” said Naidoo.

“Due to the fact we need to control our weeds first, we can’t replant until autumn 2023, so unfortunately some of these gardens will still look a bit messy before we can get them to look tidy.”

Council-owned gardens on local roads – that is, anything along a road that isn’t a state highway – are now back to being managed with a regular maintenance schedule. If you do see an area which needs attention, please report it via the Antenno app, or email the details to us at

Please remember that no member of the public should be undertaking gardening or vegetation work – including mowing the lawns – on any median strips or areas not part of their berm.

For further details on which verges are the responsibility of residents click here

For more information on Waka Kotahi's Road to Zero safety strategy click here


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