Bill keeping New Lynn safe
Bill Noue, 73, lives in Henderson and has been a Pacific Warden at New Lynn for 15 years.
Thirty-four years as a Pacific Warden is a very long time.
I started as a Pacific Warden in Porirua in Wellington before moving to Auckland. I’ve been a Pacific Warden at the New Lynn Transport Station for 15 years and I love it.
Why did you become a warden?
I didn’t have a job in Porirua but I used to attend a lot of training courses. One day I decided to do something for myself. I wanted a job that allowed me to meet new people and make friends.
What does your job involve? My job is to keep members of the public safe. If it’s helping people who’ve had their purses or bags snatched or helping them find belongings they lost in a bus or train. Even just simply smiling and talking to them. I love smiling and talking to people.
You must have seen a lot in the 34 years you’ve been a warden?
There’s been a lot of changes. A lot of dangerous things happened here in New Lynn before but I don’t like thinking about it now, I
‘‘A lot of dangerous things happened here in New Lynn before but there's nothing to report from New Lynn now because it's safer.’’
like moving forward.
Any big fights you remember breaking up?
There used to be a lot of fights before, amongst the young people. I remember I used to chase the Kelston and Avondale boys around but those days are gone now. There’s nothing to report from New Lynn now because it’s safer.
What are some issues you come across now that New Lynn is safer?
With the change in the bus network, I’ve had a lot of people ask for help in finding what buses or trains to catch. Sometimes people approach me because they’ve left their bags or phones in the bus and need help getting them back.
Any memorable experiences as a warden?
Every day is memorable because I get to meet old and new people. I especially like talking to the young people. I don’t care where they come from I always tell them to call me uncle - so I’m Uncle Bill to a lot of people that frequent here. Sometimes when the young ones finish school they come and ask for money. I always tell them they not allowed to call me uncle when they ask for money, only when they are in trouble.
Has New Lynn changed much?
Yes, definitely. It used to be very dangerous here before when I first started. There used to be a lot of fights and purse snatching but there’s none of that now. In the last year, there hasn’t been any fight whatsoever and I like to think that says a lot about the transformation New Lynn has come through.
How many people do you think you’ve helped?
Hundreds - too many to count. If it’s helping people with crimes or just talking to them. I like to think my smile and conversations helps people too because you never know what people are going through.
Have you thought about retiring?
A lot of people have asked me that, I don’t know why. I may be 73 but I certainly don’t feel it. I don’t want to retire, I enjoy this job and that’s why I do it. Not a lot of people can say they love their job and want to keep doing it even after they turn 70.