By Stuart Whitaker
A few free hours a week, an outgoing personality and the gift of the gab - all part of the job description for anyone who fancies the role of Te Puke's Neighbourhood Support area co-ordinator.
Western Bay of Plenty Neighbourhood Support manager Bruce Banks says the organisation is on the lookout for someone to drive the Te Puke group.
''What we are looking for and trying to secure is somebody with the relevant skills who will be able to do the job, so pretty much the person we are looking for is going to be outgoing, have good communication skills, have fairly reasonable computer skills and be someone who likes meeting people and likes to engage with all sorts of different people.''
They also need to be mobile and be willing to undergo police vetting.
The area co-ordinator would be the face of Neighbourhood Support in Te Puke and would help the organisation build its membership to help prevent property crime, as well as build community resilience and disaster preparedness.
Membership is built on street groups and one of the roles of the town co-ordinator would be to assist in their formation.
Bruce says the time commitment would be up to the individual although, initially at least, he would imagine 10 hours per week would be needed. He says that is likely to be less in winter and it would be likely to reduce as the number of people belonging to the organisation in Te Puke grows.
He says the organisation's role has changed over time.
"We are more about looking after neighbourhoods, looking out for each other, creating caring communities and supporting our neighbours," he says.
''Our focus today is not just crime and safety. Today's Neighbourhood Support works to create connected communities and educate our members about emergency preparedness, something we all need to know so that we are better equipped when a major event occurs.''
There are also Neighbourhood Support groups in Rangiuru and Pukehina and people from other areas can join the organisation.
''We are looking for members in the entire Te Puke area,'' says Bruce.
Once there are enough members in a particular area, there is an opportunity to find an area co-ordinator.