Cleaning up someone else’s vomit has to be one of the worst jobs around and this New Year’s celebration saw 13 piles of chunder in the town centre that had to be scrubbed clean by council custodians who wear overalls instead of capes. The team who were responsible for keeping Wanaka Town Centre clean did a remarkable job over the Christmas-New Year period. As the town sagged under the weight of tens of thousands of visitors, the town centre remained relatively spotless.
Adrian Hoddinott, QLDC Parks Delivery Team Leader says his team worked long hours doing the grunt work that not many people would put their hand up for.
Supervisor David Donald, with his team of Dan Robertson, Nick Perkins, Geraldo Alday and Alexander Castillejos started their New Year’s Day clean up at 6am to make the streets ready for bleary-eyed revellers to hit the streets for their morning caffeine. The team reported an increase in broken glass but a decrease in rubbish and remarkably not a single human ‘deposit’ was found in the town centre. This is a stark contrast to Queenstown where tourists relieve themselves in the heart of the CBD.
“Defecation is a problem here in Queenstown as well, and the custodians have to deal with it regularly even in the town centre… not just on the tracks,” says Hoddinott.
The custodial team are also enjoying their new automated street sweeper which makes fast effective work of scrubbing the streets. Queenstown has been using one for many years but it was only recently that Wanaka received its own machine to take the manual labour out of scraping up someone else’s chewing gum or cigarette butt.
The machine and the custodial labour is all paid for by local ratepayers; some of whom will be thankful for the services rendered, others who will demand a tourist tax to pay for infrastructure and services - and so the debate on how to support the weight of tourism continues. But for now, it’s a high five to Wanaka’s custodians.