Protective grass on dune destroyed


The Dunedin City Council destroying grass protecting a sand dune is illogical, Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall says.

Speaking at a board meeting in the Municipal Chambers last week, Mr Weatherall asked Dunedin City Council parks and cemetery manager Scott MacLean if he knew anything about a council contractor cutting marram grass on a sand dune near the entrance to Braids Hill Reserve in Ocean View.

Mr MacLean said he did.

The contractor – experienced in coastal restoration – decided the area would be good plot to conduct a trial for a coastal dune regeneration programme, so the grass was cut.

The explanation was met by silence from the board.

“Gosh,” Mr Weatherall said, breaking the silence.

Mr Weatherall said he understood the plants being grown to replace the grass were nowhere near ready for planting.

Mr MacLean replied: “That may be the case but to get a site covered in marram grass ready [for the trial] takes successive cutting and spraying.”

Mr Weatherall said the marram grass helped protect the dunes against king tides in winter so he failed to understand why a contractor would destroy it.

“It’s not a logical thought pattern.”

Mr MacLean said he would pass the feedback on to the contractor.