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People who live in small townships surrounding Gisborne are passionate about their place if the response to a call for community caretakers is anything to go by. Gisborne District Council has had interest from people living in all of the nine townships that are looking for caretakers. “We have had 11 applications so far but many more phone calls from people who have said they will be applying,” said Dwayne Pomana who is handling the process.
“There are no applications yet from Tokomaru Bay, Ruatoria, and Te Puia Springs although there is plenty of interest. The closing date is February 10 and I encourage all those who have expressed an interest to take the next step and get their applications in on time. We have tried to make the process easy so they even people who have no experience with contracts will feel comfortable applying.”
“Some people have expressed a concern that they will need a lot of their own machinery. People don’t in the first instance. We will be contacting all applicants and discussing the specific requirements of their community, what skills they offer and what is needed to do the job,” Mr Pomana confirmed.
The idea of community caretakers came up when Council was looking at ways to support local employment in our townships according to Engineering and Works Manager Peter Higgs. “We realised that we could be offering at least nine local people a regular income and that those with a passion and pride for their place are likely to do the best job.”
“It makes sense to amalgamate some of our smaller contracts especially those that require very little outlay of equipment. We believe this will be a more efficient way of operating and will help Council improve on our contract delivery.”
The successful applicants will be contracted to do a range of jobs for council. They may be looking after their transfer station and public toilets, controlling litter, mowing reserves, painting out graffiti or landscaping parks. Initially the requirements of each community will differ as some communities still have contracts that are not due to finish for some time.
Application forms are available online www.gdc.govt.nz/community-caretakers or from Customer Service in Fitzherbert St or Te Puia Spings.