Waikato holiday park calls for park manager with quiet wife

By Luke Kirkeby, originally published on Stuff

Wives of a non "quiet disposition" need not apply for a job at Tokoroa's Glenview Holiday Park.

A recent classified ad, featured in the South Waikato News, called for a couple to fill the manager's role at the holiday park.

But it came with some very specific requirements.

That included having a wife who "must have knowledge of Microsoft Office, telephone, multitasking and be good in communication of a quiet disposition". Her partner would be required for the park maintenance side of things.

The ad surprised National Council of Women New Zealand president, Lisa Lawrence, who said the language used in the ad was outdated.

It was also contrary to New Zealand laws that ensure everyone has an equal opportunity in the pursuit of any job. 

"It's a bit vintage to see an ad written this way these days. I would have expected to see this 40-50 years ago," she said.

"The Employment Relations Act and Human Rights Act might find the wording in this advertisement contrary to the notion that all interested and suitably skilled people can apply for roles they are interested in.

"Perhaps they could re-run the advertisement and replace the word 'wife' with 'person one' and replace the word 'partner' with 'person two'. Perhaps change the 'quiet disposition' to 'calm nature and professional reception skills'. 

"Tokoroa has some amazing people and I'm sure that they will find fantastic staff, irrespective of gender or marital status."

When asked about the ad, Auckland based owner Allan Eaton shifted blame to The South Waikato News for his use of words.

"You shouldn't have let me put it in if it was untoward. It would be a bit like me putting a rabbit in charge of a lettuce patch and not being able to understand why there are no lettuces in the morning," he said.

"I may not have used the proper English language in asking for a woman of a quiet disposition but the point I was trying to convey was, we deal with a lot of people who can sometimes be hostile in a situation of rent, so I just wanted someone of a quiet disposition that was calm and collected to manage those people.

"I am not opposed to gay people or people of a different ilk. I've had two gay cleaners and they were very very good cleaners… and my wife is Samoan so I don't think I am prejudice in any form.

"I am 71 years of age and maybe I haven't used the English language correctly." 

Eaton, who in late 2019 tried to sell the park which mainly has long-term former homeless tenants, said he never intended to cause offence.

"I don't mind if the female gets on the weed eater or motor mower or drives the courtesy van we provide free at the park and the husband did the computer work," he said

"I have just found that women around the office are generally maybe better inclined. Maybe it's a misconception I have.

"I am simply looking for a couple who would like to manage people in terms of budgeting advice, marriage guidance advice, and [other] advice.

"It's a challenging role but it's exciting to look after and foster a community that helps one another."

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  • National Council of Women New Zealand
    published this page in News 2020-05-15 14:19:31 +1200

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