Sunday, April 14, 2024

Christchurch council reveals the man behind the wig

He’s the star of the Tiktok with two million views, but what does the man behind the wig get up to at work?

Christchurch City Council Regional Parks Team Leader, Warren Hunt, has recently relished in the fame of the Council’s viral Tiktok, participating in the ‘tube girl’ trend.

While this may be only the start of his social media career, he has become a man of many talents during his thirty-five years working at Waitākiri/Bottle Lake Forest Park.

Warren started his parks-based career at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens with a horticultural apprenticeship where he was involved in landscaping around the Gardens, work at QEII Park, and getting ‘stuck in’ at almost every facility across Christchurch.

After finding a love for parks and all things trees, Warren later joined the team at Bottle Lake Forest where he’s been ever since.

“I’m incredibly proud to hold my head high working for the Christchurch City Council,” Warren says.

“I’m excited to come to work each morning, and every day is different with the wide variety of work to get involved in.”

Warren says a day’s work can be anything from emptying bins around the forest to taking on the role as Gruffalo whisperer in Council’s Walking Festival, and it’s this assortment of activities that he finds enjoyable.

“I love working with school groups, dealing with the public and interacting with people from all walks of life,” Warren says.

“Alongside these fun and games, you’ve still got to do the core jobs – the hard mahi.”

His work includes managing the risk of forest fires with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), as well as getting involved with the Coastal and Plains Rangers to look after the nearby coast and plains regional parks.

With plenty of change happening during his time at Bottle Lake so far, Warren says a shift to focus on the value of people’s recreation has been a huge factor.

“After the Canterbury earthquakes I was contacted to see if the forest would be open for recreational activities like running races and orienteering.

“It created a sense of wholeness and community, and it felt like we had the ability to help people get back to being semi-normal.”

Warren says the people he works with are a huge part of why coming to work each day doesn’t seem like a chore. “It’s a great team, whether we’re getting stuck in or if we’re celebrating our successes.

“It’s been thirty-five years at Bottle Lake and I can’t imagine I’ll be leaving any time soon. I’ll be doing it for a while longer – I love it.”

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