Icy treats frozen out when tots’ pool reopens
Iceblocks and cold drinks won’t be on sale when a free children’s pool opens for the summer tomorrow.
The $1 treats were banned from the Grey Lynn paddling pool last summer after a nearby dairy owner complained they were being sold without a food licence or trading permit.
Local parents started a petition in support of the sales and donated money towards permit costs.
But caretaker Peter Burfield says he’s been told the Auckland City Council is unlikely to approve trading at the Grey Lynn Park site.
“I’m disappointed. The whole thing just sucks,” he says. “I’ve told them, you’re not hurting me, you’re only hurting the kids.”
And even if the permit was granted, sales from the iceblocks won’t be enough to pay for the $100-a-month trading fee.
Mr Burfield has worked as caretaker and lifeguard at the children’s pool for 16 years.
He started selling drinks and iceblocks after parents suggested the money could be used to buy new inflatable toys.
The sales raise about $400 a year, which is used to buy new toys and repair damaged ones.
He was flooded with support from parents after the Auckland City Harbour News reported the iceblock ban in January.
Mr Burfield says he still hasn’t spent about $270 collected at cafe A Spoonful of Sugar, and wants to hear from donors how they would like the money used.
“I won’t touch that money until I talk to the people who raised it,” he says.
Collection organiser Frances Mahoney no longer owns the cafe and couldn’t be reached for comment.
In the meantime, Mr Burfield has dipped into his own pocket for a freezerof iceblocks to give away free, and new toys and sun umbrellas for the pool.
Council street trading team leader Sarah Noble says she’s not aware of an officer speaking to Mr Burfield about a permit, and he hasn’t formally applied for one. She says it’s possible he was told a site outside of Grey Lynn Park would be more likely to be approved.
An application would need to meet rules applying to street trading and public reserves.
It must also be approved by the council’s parks department and meet food hygiene requirements.
If granted, a temporary permit would cost $100 a month.
“The reason we try to control it is just to make sure everyone’s safe, it’s not to prevent people trading,” Ms Noble says.
“And in some cases where there are fixed businesses paying their rent we don’t want to undercut them.”
The free paddling pool is open from 10am to 6pm daily from tomorrow.
On ice: Paddling pool caretaker Peter Burfield pictured in January with the empty iceblock fridge.