Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Auckland man acknowledged for spending 12 years voluntarily cleaning streets

When Ishmael Musa moved to Auckland's Mt Albert 12 years ago, he didn't like seeing rubbish on the streets, making the area look untidy.

So every day, rain or shine, he wanders the community, voluntarily sweeping the streets, picking up litter and sorting recycling from rubbish.

Having seen him in action for years, Mt Albert MP David Shearer and members of the community decided it was about time to acknowledge his efforts.

Photo / Jason Oxenham
Photo / Jason Oxenham

Shearer presented Musa with a Special Certificate from Parliament for Community Service at a small award ceremony this morning.

Calab Vincent-Gonclaves, owner of Vinny's Barbershop in the Mt Albert Shops, also presented Musa with a card, donations and gift on behalf of local residents and business owners.

"When I got here, I would go out and see rubbish blowing around," Musa said.

"The country needed to look nice and clean. I didn't want to see it getting messy."

Musa moved to New Zealand from Kuwait with his parents and brother.

He brought his proud mother to this morning's ceremony.

Asked how he felt about receiving the award, Musa said he was happy but didn't feel it was necessary.

Shearer said he would often look out his electorate office window and see Musa picking up rubbish.

"He's a local fixture. The place would be a lot less tidy without him.

"Shop owners, the community, everyone knows who he is.

"I thought it would be nice to say thank you to him in some way. We should have done something like this a long time ago."

Vincent-Gonclaves said he would hear Musa sorting trash from 8am every morning.

"I've offered him free haircuts but he won't accept them, so it was nice to do this. Everyone knows him. Everyone wanted to sign the card and acknowledge what he does for the community."

Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes also attended the award ceremony.

He said people like Musa made for a great community.

- NZ Herald

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