Important mahi for Tairāwhiti
A fresh approach to the upkeep of community spaces in the city and townships has begun with the start of new maintenance service contracts over the weekend.
The contract Mahi mō Te Tairāwhiti - Working for Tairawhiti officially started 1 July.
Five local community caretakers and the newly appointed provider for the city and surrounds, Recreational Services, will be responsible for maintenance services such as mowing, litter bin collection, cleaning and repairs for toilets and amenities among other specialist services across the region.
Recreational Services held a karakia and welcome breakfast for their newly assembled team at their depot in Derby Street yesterday morning, before they headed out for day two of an intense week of on-the-job training and induction.
Husband and wife team, Mike and Kathryn Sellars have moved to Gisborne from the Hibiscus Coast to head up the Gisborne branch of the family-owned business.
Mike says they’re keen to hit the ground running in this first week, embedding values and knowledge within the team and developing relationships with the community.
“We want to start on the right foot and cultivate a consistent and quality service.”
“We’ve brought in specialist staff from other regions to mentor our new team for the first week, we buddy them up so they can pass on their knowledge and way of working.”
Senior staff member Sam Garlick, responsible for inducting the five new mower operators, was really impressed with the level of detail and ownership the Gisborne crew had shown.
New to the role, Gisborne man Kupa Gerrard has been taking in the standards set by Sam and other trainers.
“The training has been really good, I’m learning, a lot goes into not just mowing the grass, but how to carry it out so it looks polished when the job is done,” he said.
Team mate Sam Horsfall said they wanted to set a standard and be proud of the work they did.
“We want to keep the place nice, this is our home and a tourist destination so we want to have pride in what we do.”
Recreational Services’ permanent Gisborne staff of 20 includes 16 local employees as well as local subcontractors.
Council contracts and assets manager, Garrett Blair added that Council staff had also met with community caretakers last Friday to kick-start a collaborative approach to the level of services they will provide to rural and coast communities.
Mr Blair said it was important to Council that the relationship and passion local caretakers have within their communities was retained and supported.
“Recreational Services will also work alongside and share with them their skills and experience in the industry. Caretakers are onboard and excited to get into it, they’ll be providing more services to communities than before and we’re all feeling positive about the direction we’re heading.”
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The recreational Services team at their Derby Street depot
Mower operator Kupa Gerrard and the team learning the ropes on day 2 of training.
Tokomaru Bay's community caretakers