Icy treats frozen out when tots’ pool re­opens

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

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.

Photo: EVO­TIA TAMUA THOMP­SON

On ice: Pad­dling pool care­taker Peter Bur­field pic­tured in Jan­uary with the empty ice­block fridge.

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