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Council celebrates long-serving staff

A century is a long time to be in the same job – and South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] is celebrating four team members this year who have, between them, clocked up even longer.

SWDC staffers Penny Griffin, Christine Allanson, Sara Edney, and Andrew McEwan have all received long service awards in acknowledgment of their several decades’ long careers with the council – collectively spanning 118 years.

They have performed a diverse range of roles, from animal control, environmental services, librarian and customer services, to accounts receivable, building consent administration and management.

“We appreciate the high dedication these staff have shown in their respective roles and their ongoing commitment to many customers and our wider community,” Russell O’Leary, SWDC group manager for planning and environment said.

Penny Griffin has worked as a librarian with the Featherston Library for 37 years, starting in the role in December 1986. Stefan Corbett, SWDC group manager for infrastructure, praised Griffin for her “incredible commitment to improving literacy and education outcomes”.

“Penny is loved and respected by her community. She is a shining example of a staff member who is motivated by service,” he said.

Christine Allanson is the “friendly face” behind the reception desk at SWDC’s Martinborough office. She has held several roles throughout her 35-year tenure at the council, and is “treasured for her tremendous sense of community in everything that she does,” Paul Gardner, group manager of corporate services, said.

Sara Edney began her council career in 1997, starting in a front of house role, and progressing to, building services consents and inspection work. Now heading up SWDC’s building team, she is known for having “a great eye for technical detail in building, skilled customer experience navigating tricky compliance issues,” O’Leary said.

“Her high consistency and very wide technical skills on building matters always shines through.”

Andrew McEwan started with SWDC in 2003 as a part time dog ranger, looking after strays or wandering stock and dealing with bylaw issues. He was “strongly involved” in the site work details and establishment of the council’s award-winning dog pound project. He is now the interim manager of the Environmental Services team.

“Andrew is a versatile guy, who always brings problem solving skills to resolve matters,” O’Leary said.

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall is the editor of the Wairarapa Midweek. She has been a journalist for the past 10 years, and has a keen interest in arts, culture, social issues, and community justice.

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