Parks staff complete qualification

Reaping rewards . . . Gore District Council parks and reserve staff (from left) Sarah Frame, Alyssa Hewlett (gardeners) Jordon Lott (operator/sprayer) and Dianne Hamlin (gardener) received their New Zealand Certificate in Horticultural Service (Amenity Gardening) last week. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Four apprentices who have recently completed their training boost the number of qualified Gore District Council parks and reserves staff to about 90%.

Team members Sarah Frame, Alyssa Hewlett (gardeners) Jordan Lott (operator-sprayer) and Dianne Hamlin (gardener) received their New Zealand certificate in horticultural service (amenity gardening) last week.

Parks and reserves manager Keith McRobie said receiving the certificates was the result of three to four years’ hard work.

“Amazingly they all completed the process at the same time.

“They represent 25% of our park’s workforce and it means that our qualification rate is now sitting around 90% which is very high.”

Primary ITO training adviser Craig Campbell said the benefit of the apprenticeship was people could learn on the job.

“They learn to do how to do stuff in the field and the qualification is backing up the why and the science behind what they do in the field.”

The parks and reserves department had good structures in place to help staff train, he said.

The Gore district had a reputation for beautiful gardens, Mr Campbell said.

“The gardeners are the people that bring the colour into your town.

‘‘The way the council and the people put the love and the effort into it is actually quite unique around the countryside. I’m very proud of Gore.”

Gore chief executive Steve Parry congratulated the four staff on gaining their qualification.

“You’ve now got that qualification, you’ve got a foundation, you can speak with authority.”

He encouraged them to keep learning.

“Just keep developing, growing, giving back and you will reap rewards.”

He had never cut the council’s training budget, believing it was important people kept developing.