Rightly or wrongly, parking wardens are not always a welcome sight, but Far North District Council warden Andrew Cassells is a gracious exception to the stereotype, according to Kerikeri woman AnnMaree Mills.

Ms Mills said she had encountered a distressed elderly man in the Post Office car park in Kerikeri a few weeks ago. A few minutes later she and her husband were approached by Mr Cassells, who asked if they had noticed the elderly man's car.

He had driven to town for a doctor's appointment and could not remember where he had parked, hence his distress.

Mr Cassells stayed with the man to calm him down and retrace his movements, and within some 35 minutes had reunited him with his car.


"The retailers and I were impressed with the courtesy and positive networking communication from Andrew to assist this elderly gentleman. We had observed a few professional folk ignoring him," Ms Mills said.

"Andrew continued his vehicle parking checks with the humble comment, 'It's all part of the job to assist folk', but this was a small customer service attitude and action that spoke volumes."

Mayor John Carter was equally impressed.

"I just want to record my sincere thanks for what you have done," he said in an email to Mr Cassells.

"This is excellent customer service, and while you may say that it is what everyone would do, the fact that it was done, and you also had your son and his friends involved, means a lot to me and the community."