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Retailers send their street cleaner overseas

Retailers send their street cleaner overseas

Just when Auckland’s leading shopping district is gearing up for the pre-Christmas rush, its retailers are sending their street cleaner to Samoa for two weeks in December, with the return air-ticket sponsored by Newmarket’s Harvey World Travel and organised by the local business association.

The Newmarket Business Association searched out some sponsorship after it decided it wanted to reward street cleaner Rachel Sifa for her hard work. It is now encouraging other town centres not to over look their street cleaners this Christmas.

“Street cleaning is a critical role in any town centre. We encourage other areas that have great street cleaners to acknowledge their hard work, even if it’s just a card. When times are tough it’s easy to overlook their quiet dedication and daily contribution. In recessionary times presentation and customer experience become even more important," says Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.

"Rachel works from dawn till dusk six days a week sweeping our streets and she does a great job. She is very popular among our business community and members have long been saying to me it's time we did something nice for her.

"This is a thank you from everyone in Newmarket. Rachel is much loved, has a deep faith, and we just wanted to show her how much she is appreciated. We are eternally grateful for Harvey World Travel at the bottom of Remuera Road for generously supplying the return ticket.

"When Cameron approached us we did not hesitate. Rachel is a real Newmarket treasure and we wanted to show our commitment to the local community. It's a real privilege and we're proud to be sponsors," says Grant Bevin, owner of Harvey World Travel, Newmarket.

Mr Brewer says Rachel has cleaned Newmarket's streets for several years, and up until last year she was on her own. He says given the district prides itself on being the fashion capital, the street cleaning role is critical.

"With all the new businesses and street redevelopments, it's a massive job. What's more Rachel is a workaholic. The council tells me she has a lot of annual leave owing simply because she is so committed to her job.

"By organising this trip for her, we're basically forcing her to take a two-week holiday which is long overdue."

"Rachel has never been back to Samoa since she left many years ago. She has elderly family members still there and a lot of friends to catch up with. We just want her to put her feet up," says Cameron Brewer.

"This is a huge honour and one I never expected. I feel very humble and fortunate. I really enjoy my work in Newmarket where the people are so nice to me. Thank you to the Newmarket Business Association and Harvey World Travel for making this possible. I am very excited," says Rachel Sifa.


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