'Wimpy' jobseeker advert pulled

By Hana Garrett-Walker

An advertisement for weed sprayers said that "this job is not for wimpy, feint hearted (sic), soft, 'run to mummy halfwits' with pants halfway down their bottoms". File photo / Hawke's Bay Today
An advertisement for weed sprayers said that "this job is not for wimpy, feint hearted (sic), soft, 'run to mummy halfwits' with pants halfway down their bottoms". File photo / Hawke's Bay Today

A weed control firm which bluntly said "wimpy" job seekers were not suited to their summer vacancies has pulled the ad from Trade Me after more than 42,000 hits.

The honest job advertisement went viral when Gore-based GroundSpray owner Marty Grounds put the ad on Trade Me and in local newspapers.

"Clearly by the number of emails and texts and phone calls from all around the world means that it's caught quite a few people's attention," Mr Grounds said.

The advertisement, for summer weed sprayers covering ground from Tekapo to Bluff, stated that "this job is not for wimpy, feint hearted (sic), soft, 'run to mummy halfwits' with pants halfway down their bottoms".

Mr Grounds said the ad was meant to grab people's attention while also "weeding out the waste of times".

And he said it worked.

After about 42,000 hits on the Trade Me ad and about 50 applications for the role, of which about a couple of dozen were suitable, he pulled the ad.

He has so far hired two people, and expected to hire another 10 to 12 for summer when the business doubles its staff numbers.

"If I hadn't worded the ad the way I had I would have ended up with hundreds of applicants I would imagine, at the moment," he said.

Mr Grounds said there was nothing discriminatory in his ad.

"It doesn't discriminate it just tells you how tough the job is. The only place where I've discriminated is where I've said I won't have smokers, and at the end of the day we can't have smokers on the hills, central Otago, they'll set the place on fire."

An Advertising Standards Authority spokeswoman said it had not received any complaints about the advertisement.

She said the most likely complaint would be around whether it caused serious and widespread offence.

She said the Human Rights Commission had guidelines around unlawful discrimination but the ad was less likely to fall into that category.

The Human Rights Commission has 13 prohibited grounds of discrimination in its Act, including on age, colour, disability and ethical beliefs.

What the ad said:

This job is not for wimpy, feint hearted, soft 'run to mummy' halfwits with pants halfway down their bottoms! We only want staff that will do as they are told by their supervisors, follow company rules and can put up with being wet, hot, cold, exhausted, hungry and thirsty, you also need to be able to sit in a van for three hours and not complain to us. (We don't listen & we don't care).

You need to be of a stature that you can walk around hills and bluffs and climb in and out of small helicopters without terrifying the pilot. If this sounds like you, then you're probably completely mad and we would love to have you.

- APNZ

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