Sacked council worker: 'I had a hell of a job'

Former dog ranger Daryl Taylor says he is leaving Wanaka with his ''pound dog'' Jed. Photo by Mark Price.
Former dog ranger Daryl Taylor says he is leaving Wanaka with his ''pound dog'' Jed. Photo by Mark Price.
Wanaka's former dog ranger and parking and litter officer Daryl Taylor says he has received a payout after being sacked by Lakes Environmental in September.

Mr Taylor told the Otago Daily Times he had reached a settlement with Lakes Environmental as the result of a mediation hearing three weeks ago, but the amount is confidential.

He said he had not requested his job back or been offered it.

Mr Taylor said he accepted he had been unprofessional during a dispute with the neighbour of a dog owner at Lake Hawea.

However, he pointed out police had taken no action over the neighbour's complaint against him.

After five years as Wanaka's first and only full-time dog ranger and parking officer, Mr Taylor said he was looking forward to returning to Dunedin, where his family was.

Being ''canned'' had brought on a ''very bad spell'' of depression and he believed the stress of the Wanaka job had contributed to his skin and prostate cancers - both of which had required surgery just weeks before the incident that cost him his job.

''My job was never easy here. I had a hell of a job doing all the awful things that councils have to do. It was sometimes confrontational.''

Mr Taylor said he had had eight enforcement warrants, including dog control, parking, litter and fire, which in most councils were shared between several people.

Mr Taylor said he had taken particular care of dogs in the pound, ensuring they were exercised. He found new homes for all the dogs in the pound to ensure they were not put down.

Lakes Environmental chief executive Hamish Dobbie had no comment to make in relation to Mr Taylor but said the job was now being done by contractors and existing staff.

-mark.price@odt.co.nz