It's nice and comfortable to sit in an air conditioned office but spare a thought for Northlanders working in extreme heat.

They are the likes of drycleaners, bakers, glassblowers and insulation installers toiling in temperatures well above those officially recorded by MetService.

At Apparelmaster Whangārei, commercial linen and towel specialists, the heat generated from an iron is 190C and then there is other equipment such as a boiler used to generate heat for the washing machines.

General manager Steve Baker said most of his between 50 and 60 staff were in singlets and shorts and they generally stayed hydrated.

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"We've moved the thermometer around over the years to see what sort of heat they work on. It's a good place to work in during winter, not in summer."

However, Baker said most of his staff brought their own drink bottles, they have wet towels, and the company tried to make their uniforms as user-friendly as possible in hot weather.

Apparelmaster laundry operator Rongo Patira working with a t-shirt on in one of the hottest areas of the plant. Photo/John Stone
Apparelmaster laundry operator Rongo Patira working with a t-shirt on in one of the hottest areas of the plant. Photo/John Stone

Baker said although it was hot, it wasn't too bad as the weather tended to be hotter in February and March.

The company takes orders from central Auckland to Houhora and Baker said while overall usage was down at this time of the year, linen use from holiday destinations from Matakana north was up.

Some people who aren't feeling the heat as bad as others, it seems, are rest home residents.

Whangārei-based Radius Potter Home facility manager Mandy Beazley said her staff "try desperately" to get the residents' jumpers and cardigans off as they don't feel the heat.

"As they grow older, their hypothalamus doesn't work. You can't get them off. I cool the dining rooms before they go and they make me turn them off," she said.

The hypothalamus is a small region at the base of the brain which plays a crucial role in many important functions, including releasing hormones and regulating body temperature.

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Gwen Goodhue could wear a jumper and sit under the sun all day in this weather. Photo/John Stone
Gwen Goodhue could wear a jumper and sit under the sun all day in this weather. Photo/John Stone

Beazley said resident also hated putting on sunblocks and hats.

"They love the hot weather and for us, it's making sure they are hydrated and the awareness they are out in the shade and how long and things like putting sunscreens and hats on."

Gwen Goodhue, 93, wore a jumper while sitting under a tree and said she put it on as it was cold in the morning.

"Sometimes I feel a bit cold and can sit in the sun with the jumper on whole day," she said.

Tips to beat the heat:
Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
Seek shade, a fan or air conditioning
Wear a hat and sunscreen
Check on the young and elderly. Ensure they stay well hydrated.
Don't forget your pets and animals - they need lots of shade and clean drinking water.