Road­side lit­ter off lim­its for com­mu­nity ser­vice

Waitaki Herald - - NEWS - By NI­COLA WOLFE

The Cor­rec­tions Depart­ment won’t al­low of­fend­ers to pick up road­side rub­bish for health and safety rea­sons but Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher said it is treat­ing them like ba­bies.

Kircher has ap­proached Waitaki MP Jac­qui Dean to get ac­tion on North Otago’s lit­ter prob­lem.

He wants to see of­fend­ers serv­ing com­mu­nity ser­vice keep­ing the re­gion free of rub­bish but cor­rec­tions health and safety rules are stand­ing in the way.

He ap­proached Cor­rec­tions with his pro­posal but was told com­mu­nity ser­vice work­ers are un­able to do this kind of work be­cause of health and safety is­sues.

‘‘ Strict’’ rules ap­ply to of­fend­ers work­ing on main streets and road verges.

Cor­rec­tions Depart­ment Otago dis­trict manager Ray­mond Clark told the Waitaki Her­ald of­fend­ers do­ing com­mu­nity work in Oa­maru can pick up lit­ter in parks and recre­ation ar­eas but ‘‘for health and safety rea­sons Cor­rec­tions will not pro­vide of­fend­ers on com­mu­nity work to pick up lit­ter on main streets and road verges’’.

‘‘We have al­ways done, and con­tinue to do, many hours of work for the coun­cil via Kurow Town En­hance­ment Project, com­mu­nity gar­dens, Mo­er­aki Walk­way, Kakanui Walk­way, and Oa­maru Creek, and have been heav­ily in­volved in the devel­op­ment of the Oa­maru fore­shore project in the past when of­fender num­bers al­lowed it.’’

But Kircher said an­other sign of cor­rect­ness.

‘‘There are lots of ar­eas where there is hardly any traf­fic and we are not talk­ing about get­ting out on the high­way. We’d take all safety mea­sures in­clud­ing vests. Peo­ple walk on th­ese roads all the time. They are treat­ing them like ba­bies.’’

He said he had talked about it to Waitaki MP Jac­qui Dean.

Dean said she was keen to fol­low up the is­sue with Cor­rec­tions to clar­ify what the prob­lem was but un­til then there wasn’t much to be done.

‘‘It’s con­cern­ing if that is the case be­cause com­mu­nity work is an im­por­tant part of com­mu­nity sen­tences,’’ she said. it was po­lit­i­cal

Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher is un­happy about Cor­rec­tion’s health and safety rules pre­vent­ing of­fend­ers from pick­ing up road­side rub­bish.

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