Generous locals offer to help clean up

By Adriana Weber

Rotorua resident Bill Hobman is "blown away" by the generosity of members of the community who have offered to clean up the leaves on his Dickens St property.

Mr Hobman, who for the last five years has been confined to a wheelchair, has been frustrated by the large amount of leaves that constantly blow on to his property from a nearby council reserve.

Yesterday the Rotorua Daily Post ran a story about Mr Hobman's plight to get the leaves cleaned up by the Rotorua District Council.

Within a day of the story being published Mr Hobman has been flooded with offers of help from the local community.

"The phone has been ringing like crazy this morning," he said.

"Everyone wants to help."

For the last three years Mr Hobman has struggled to keep his property clear of leaves, which can sometimes pile up to half a metre high.

About a month ago he contacted the council to see if it would help clean up the leaves, but was shocked when it said no, especially since the trees that caused the problem were on council land.

"The council said the leaves were my problem because they were on my land," he said.

"To be honest I think the council just decided not to do anything because I didn't jump up and down enough."

Mr Hobson said he was grateful to receive offers of help from "people who cared".

He was halfway through eating his breakfast when he got a knock at the door by Kim and Chris Curtis offering to help.

The couple own a commercial mowing and contracting company, Redwood Cottage & Barn mowing, and said they "didn't think twice" about helping Mr Hobman.

"We just wanted to help someone who couldn't help themselves," Mrs Curtis said.

Together they cleared about one and a half truckloads of leaves from Mr Hobman's property within a couple of hours.

Mrs Curtis said she was surprised the council did not send workers to do the job.

"It was an opportunity for the council to step in and portray themselves in a good light.

"But they missed it," she said.

Mr Curtis praised the other businesses and people who had offered to help Mr Hobman.

"As a community we need to look after each other. It's awesome to see people doing that."

Organisations who offered to help include Living Well Church, Rotorua Ngongotaha Rail Trust and Sudima Hotel.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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