Thank you to tidy Kiwi Peter
Peter Turney just wants his neighbourhood to be a tidier place.
The Tawa resident was acknowledged recently for his selfless desire to rid the streets of rubbish with a civic award, which he said was gratifying.
He received seven nominations in the heritage and environment section, a record for the biennial awards.
Tawa Community Board chairperson Malcolm Sparrow said he was ‘‘blown away’’ by the depth of feeling expressed by those who nominated Mr Turney.
A resident on Main Rd, Mr Turney tries to get out at least twice a week, depending on the weather, with gloves and rubbish bag in tow.
The 63-year-old tries to take a different route each time, picking up whatever paper, bottles and other trash that he can in the space of about five hours.
He said his sense of altruism comes from a combination of his Christian faith and observation that Tawa streets have become less tidy in the past four years.
‘‘ People deserve better than what it looked like, having rubbish on our streets makes the place look cheap and dirty. I felt that if I left it, it would get worse. I just want to do the best possible job, I’m a perfectionist.’’
Drink containers and bottles are commonplace, especially during summer, he says.
‘‘This time of year the wind blows so much paper around, it gets stuck in bushes.’’
Mr Turney puts the collected rubbish in bins on Main Road, saying with a chuckle that his neighbours probably wouldn’t appreciate him placing it in their shared wheelie bin.
He says he feels unhappy if, for whatever reason, he can’t go out and pick up litter once a week. When the weather gets better, and the days longer, he will ven- ture further afield, tidying up around Kenepuru.
He says while the award was an honour, he doesn’t expect praise.
‘‘When I’m out there and people pass me by and say what I’m doing is a good thing, that’s enough.’’
On a mission: Peter Turney uses supermarket bags and rubber gloves to collect rubbish around Tawa’s streets.