Managing vegetation

Management of vegetation along 4,000km of rail corridor land is important to KiwiRail.

The size and nature of KiwiRail land and many demands on our funding means vegetation management needs to be prioritised and planned. As a consequence it may not be possible to satisfy individual requests from our neighbours.

However, if there are trees on our land that are dangerous for you, please let us know immediately:

Our priorities

KiwiRail’s priorities in managing corridor vegetation are:

  • Safety – vegetation needs to be kept clear so train drivers have a clear view of the railway, of road users, and of railway equipment such as signals, electric traction poles and level crossing equipment. Train drivers and road users both need to see each other clearly. Pedestrians also need to see trains approaching.
  • Weeds – we control weeds and reduce infestations with guidance from regional councils.
  • Trees – we either trim or remove trees that are a risk to rail operations. If the trees are not on our land, we discuss our plans with landowners.
  • Weed spray – we aim to keep the area around the tracks and drains clear of vegetation so drains can work properly and our tracks are looked after.

Under the Railways Act 2005 we need to deal with vegetation that may be dangerous to our rail operations. This could either be trees or vegetation on our land or your land. If we need to remove vegetation or trees from your land, we will discuss this with you in advance.

Many local councils take up beautification leases with us and assume responsibility for vegetation maintenance, especially in urban areas.

We contract Treescape to work with us and regional councils, local councils and organisations to understand local requirements and make the most of our limited budget.

Processing requests from our neighbours

If you have already contacted us with a request to remove vegetation in your area please note, our programme around vegetation management is:

  • Assessed against our priorities
  • Seasonally adjusted
  • Planned for specific times of the year.

It may not be possible to attend to your request immediately. Please allow up to 30 days for our team to assess your request, and advise you of our intentions.

For more information