Council in bid to sell eco-warrior truck
Large truck-and-trailer unit for sale, one careful owner, environmentally friendly, and the vendor is motivated. Boss says it has to go.
Horizons Regional Council's environmental education unit, the Green Rig, is on the market - 10 months after councillors gave staff instructions to move it on.
The bright green sign-written truck, which has not been used since June, is being advertised on a trade website and will go under the hammer through a tender process on December 7.
Described in the online advertisement as a 17.5-metre custom-built semi-trailer complete with satellite dish, gas barbecue and solar panels, the unit has all the modern conveniences of a family home.
The truck won multiple environmental and educational awards and received more than $600,000 in sponsorship at its launch in 2007.
It has delivered its environmental message to more than 80,000 school children and adults throughout Horizons' region and has travelled to Hawke's Bay and Waikato.
The programme came under fire for being anti-farming and for being an unnecessary cost to ratepayers.
The council was divided over its usefulness and earlier this year the truck was decommissioned.
It has been parked at Horizons' Kairanga satellite depot on the Kairanga-Bunnythorpe Rd ever since.
A lack of sponsorship is partly blamed for it being in the bad books of some councillors.
"I think if we'd had more money in sponsorship at first, we wouldn't be where we are today," rig advocate and councillor Vern Chettleburgh said.
Cr Chettleburgh said the Green Rig came into some councillors' sights as dispensable in the last local government election campaign.
"And that means people get adamant they have to follow through," he said.
Cr Chettleburgh said he believed the council had a role in environmental education and it was hard to put a value on that.
Cr Bob Walker said he would be glad to see the back of the truck.
"We don't need it; we can't afford it and it's time it went."
It has been said to cost ratepayers more than $300,000 a year to run, with net running costs reaching $27,000, less the income earned from hire, which was more than $4700.
Horizons chief financial officer Thomas Colle said the rig could be modified to suit various uses and the council would look at selling it in parts or as a whole.
Horizons would not disclose its current estimated value because it was on the market and wanted to ensure "council maximises the potential sale value", Mr Colle said.
Manheim is selling the Green Rig on its website.
The Manawatu Standard