Lack of park maintenance forcing residents to go elsewhere

Some parks in Auckland have been abandoned by the council, according to residents.

Casey Trent moved to Weymouth from the high-income suburb of Ponsonby two months ago - and noticed a huge difference in the state of her local park. 

"Initially I felt sad for everyone out here. It's like a stereotype - oh you live in south Auckland, you're not worth what people in Herne Bay are worth," she says.

"Is there not a budget for the whole of Auckland and not just per suburb?"

Auckland Council says there is.

"We would treat any situation where there is glass, graffiti, rubbish - the same across all our parks," Auckland Council's Agnes McCormack says.

Three former council contractors told Newshub higher-income suburbs complain more to the council call centre. And that means they get more attention.  

The council admits it does rely on complaints.

"There could be a normal response, an urgent response, or a critical response. You mentioned glass - that would generally be a critical response," Ms McCormack says.

Papakura resident Ryan Elliott says he's watched his neighbourhood parks deteriorate to the point where he won't let his kids play in some of them. 

"[It's] definitely upsetting. That's why I've put a skate park at home - thinking outside the square."

Residents say tables at the popular Walter Massey Park have been broken for more than a year - same with this flying fox down the road. 

"We thought our local park was a little bit run down. And it looks a bit grotty and a bit boring. Lots of tagging. And so we've come out to Point Chev," Te Atatu resident Kirsty Collins says.

"And we just feel more comfortable here. It's a lot nicer."

Maintenance contracts are about to be changed to include a new auditing system, the council says that means no neglected nook will be forgotten