One of Northland's longest-serving hardware store workers is hanging up his boots in exchange for a new role at a holiday park.

Possum, a rainbow lorikeet, has been greeting customers and overseeing operations at Bunnings Warehouse Kerikeri since it opened six years ago, and at Mitre 10 on the same site for eight years before that.

Possum the rainbow lorikeet, a long-serving employee at Bunnings Kerikeri, has accepted a new position at Bay of Islands Holiday Park near Haruru Falls. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Possum the rainbow lorikeet, a long-serving employee at Bunnings Kerikeri, has accepted a new position at Bay of Islands Holiday Park near Haruru Falls. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Wednesday, however, was his last day on the job. He spent it as productively as every other day of the previous 14 years, wolf-whistling at shoppers, imitating the beeps of the scanner and the squeaks of the key-cutting machine, investigating items of interest and generally livening up the store.

One of his closest colleagues, Carol Moffat, said Possum's cage was left open all day, allowing him free rein of the store.

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He liked to hitch rides on trolleys and occasionally on the shoulders of favoured workmates. He took a particular interest in socks and gloves and had been known to raid the beetroot seedlings in the garden section.

''I will miss him. He's quite a character,'' she said.

Moffat had tried to train Possum to say ''Hello, welcome to Bunnings!'', but he'd never got further than ''hello!''.

Carol Moffat bids farewell to her Bunnings Kerikeri colleague Possum after the rainbow lorikeet's 14 years of service to the store. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Carol Moffat bids farewell to her Bunnings Kerikeri colleague Possum after the rainbow lorikeet's 14 years of service to the store. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Store manager Kevin Robinson said while Possum was a valued team member he was on his own all night and the store could be cold in winter. So when the owners of Bay of Islands Holiday Park, near Haruru Falls, offered him a new home, his Bunnings colleagues agreed.

Robinson said Possum would be well looked after at the holiday park but he was certainly not retiring. His new role would see him welcoming campers and tourists from every corner of the globe.

Possum did not get a gold watch on his last day but he did get a feeding dish full of honey, his favourite treat.