A retired couple who moved to a caravan park for cheaper accommodation have lost an application to be paid for their work around the park.

Anthony and Irene Kidd moved to the Omokoroa Caravan and Motorhome Park in Tauranga in November 2011 because they decided the change of lifestyle would be cheaper than continuing to rent a home.

In February 2012 the Kidds learned that the park's owners Gail and Roy Beaumont were looking for help around the park. An advertisement in a local newspaper said the management were looking for someone to clean facilities and manage reception in exchange for free use of a powered caravan site.

The Kidds soon began work cleaning bathrooms and cabins and greeting people staying at the park. In exchange for their powered campervan site they also received $100 cash tax free.

Advertisement

The work continued until March 2014 when an altercation occurred between the Kidds and the Beaumonts and the Kidds left the caravan park.

The Kidds went to the Employment Relations Authoriuty seeking backpay for the work they carried out at the caravan park.

However, Member of the Authority T G Tetitaha found the Kidds were never employed by the Beaumonts, rather their work was carried out as volunteers.

Tetitaha said in his decision published this week he did not accept Mrs Beaumont told the Kidds they were volunteers.

"However there is equally no evidence either party intended this to be an employment relationship," he said.

There was no remuneration for their work, so no employment relationship was in place, Tetitaha said.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of many communities. It is when workers are termed volunteers and receive remuneration that the possibility of an employment relationship arises. This is at the heart of the case here."

Read the full decision here: