Meet our MEET

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Palmer­ston North’s out­door com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties would be at a loss with­out MEET.

The Manawatu Events Equip­ment Trust was set up as a vol­un­teer-run or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2003 to pro­vide traf­fic man­age­ment at a nom­i­nal cost for sport­ing or pub­lic or­gan­i­sa­tions that hold events on pub­lic roads.

Ac­tiv­i­ties such as the pop­u­lar Manawatu Strid­ers Su­per Sev­ens series would be stopped in their tracks with­out in­put from MEET.

Phil Pirie has been with the or­gan­i­sa­tion since the be­gin­ning.

‘‘It started with a lean-to about half the size of a park­ing space. We’ve grown con­sid­er­ably since then,’’ Pirie said.

The trust now oc­cu­pies a large shed on Pirie’s prop­erty at Hi­winui that con­tains $120,000 worth of signs and equip­ment, with just enough room in­side for the trailer.

The trusty pur­pose-built trailer trans­ports signs, bar­ri­ers, cones and high-vis gear, and with it comes the le­gal com­pli­ance ex­per­tise, sup­port and ad­vice for any­thing re­quir­ing New Zealand Trans­port Agency, city and dis­trict coun­cil-con­trolled streets and road­ways.

‘‘There’s no money in it, and we strug­gle to makes ends meet year on year. Our big costs are in­sur­ance, trailer main­te­nance and buy­ing new gear. We rely a lot on the good­will of sup­port­ing busi­nesses,’’ Pirie said.

To en­sure that hire fees are kept as low as pos­si­ble, the trust is con­tin­u­ally seek­ing dona­tions for ser­vices or equip­ment, and is about to start fundrais­ing for a new trailer.

‘‘Our min­i­mum charge is $10 and max­i­mum is $100. There is in­creas­ing de­mand for the ser­vice as peo­ple be­come aware of what the road­ing re­quire­ments are.’’

At the Su­per Sev­ens on Tues­day evenings Pirie turns up, loaded trailer in tow to the On­g­ley Park car park.

It will take two hours to place its fully com­pli­ant con­tents around the Su­per Sev­ens course, and af­ter the last strag­glers have fin­ished, two hours to pack it all back up.

‘‘These sand­bags, signs and bar­ri­ers are only a small pro­por­tion of what we’ve got,’’ Pirie said.

The Strid­ers’ Joseph Smith is there to help, thank­ful for Pirie’s ded­i­ca­tion.

‘‘He [Pirie] cer­tainly does a lot for the club, and what you see on the trailer to set up our event is noth­ing,’’ Smith said.

RICHARD MAYS

Phil Pirie and the trailer load of gear re­quired to sup­port the Su­per Sev­ens.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.