New town custodians set to hit streets

Last updated 23:43 25/06/2008
DECKED OUT: Wakatipu and Wanaka town custodians (from left) Rachel Anderson, Karu Kuppusamy, Daniel Hamilton and Tim Ryan, with their unique gear gear, are set to hit the streets.

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Parks, reserves and streets throughout Wakatipu and Wanaka are in for a spruce-up as the Queenstown Lakes District Council's new colourful town custodians spring into action.

The council is taking its "parks team" back in-house after more than a decade of contracting out the services.

Council community services general manager Paul Wilson said a 14-member team was ready to fill the roles of community gardeners and town custodians.

The team will employ new equipment unique to local government in New Zealand, including custom-made tricycles for use mainly in the gardens in Queenstown and Wanaka.

These would replace the traditional four-wheel bike, Mr Wilson said.

A new street cleaner and street cleaning units are also at the disposal of team members, who would be decked out in high-visibility clothing.

The team is training for its new role, which starts on July 1. The council contract covering parks, reserves and street cleaning expires on June 30.

"By bringing the responsibility back into the council and changing the level of service being delivered, the community will see a significant improvement in the appearance of our main town centres and public spaces," Mr Wilson said.

The other benefit of having a parks team of council-employed workers was the ability to give direct feedback.

The four town custodians — one Wanaka-based and three working in Queenstown and Arrowtown -- would all be able to deal with requests for service on the streets.

"The team will have a really visible presence in our communities.

We expect people to feed back information to members of the team, who in turn will be able to give direct feedback to the council," Mr Wilson said.


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- The Southland Times

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