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Street/​Park Cleaner

Kaitahitahi Papa Rēhia/​Huarahi

Alternative titles for this job

Street/park cleaners sweep and clean streets, gutters, footpaths and other public areas such as parks and car parks. 


Street/park cleaners usually earn

$19-$21 per hour

Source: City Care, 2016.

Job opportunities

Opportunities for street/park cleaners are poor due to the small size of the occupation and people staying in the role for a long time.


Street/park cleaners usually earn between minimum wage and $21 an hour, depending on their employer, the region they work in and their experience.

Source: City Care, 2016.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Street/park cleaners may do some or all of the following:

  • sweep footpaths, public spaces and gutters with a broom or sweeper truck
  • use water-flushing equipment to clear gutters and unblock street drains
  • cut growth away from the roads and footpaths
  • clear away slips and fallen trees
  • empty litter bins
  • maintain public toilets and street furniture
  • remove graffiti and posters from places such as walls and park benches.

Skills and knowledge

Street/park cleaners need to:

  • have knowledge of how to use and care for their machinery and cleaning equipment
  • have a thorough understanding of safety procedures
  • be familiar with the streets and parks in the areas where they are working.

Working conditions

Street/park cleaners:

  • do shift work that may include nights, early mornings and weekends
  • work in parks, streets and other public areas in the community
  • work in most weather conditions and in conditions that can be noisy and smelly.

What's the job really like?

Harry Hawthorne

Street/Park Cleaner

What do you enjoy about the job?

"The main thing I like about it is that I'm outside all the time in the fresh air, and always moving round. I'd rather be outside than stuck in an office any day."

How does your day progress?

"In the mornings we empty shop-front rubbish bins before the traffic builds up. Then we carry on with our other jobs like clearing drains, and slips that don't require the use of heavy machinery."

What kind of person do you need to be?

"You've got to be someone who can work in a team. It makes your job a lot easier. It's especially important for safety reasons, like holding road signs and watching the traffic for a colleague who is sweeping in between parked cars. We all look after one another here."

What's it like cleaning up after storms?

"You get soaked. But you've got to go out and clear the drains, especially those that would flood the houses below if they overflowed. After storms, when you've tidied up, it's an achievement to look back and see what you've done."

Entry requirements

Street/park cleaners usually need to have a Class 1 driver's licence.

Street/park cleaners who drive sweeper trucks will need to have a current Class 2 driver's licence and previous experience driving trucks.

Secondary education

There are no specific educational requirements to become a street/park cleaner, but two years of secondary education is recommended.

Personal requirements

Street/park cleaners need to be:

  • practical
  • reliable and able to follow instructions
  • responsible and polite
  • observant and careful, with an eye for detail.

Useful experience

Useful experience for street/park cleaners includes:

  • forestry and farm work
  • driving heavy vehicles
  • work on construction sites
  • cleaning experience
  • any work involving manual labour.

Physical requirements

Street/park cleaners need to have a good level of health and fitness and must be strong.

Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Chances of finding work as a street/park cleaner are poor as people tend to stay in the role for a long time, and competition is high for any positions that become available.

Street/park cleaners most in demand winter and summer

Your chances of getting a job are highest in winter, when employers hire additional street/park cleaners to clean up wind or storm damage, and in summer, when more outdoor events are held.

Registering with agencies a good way to find work

Most city councils contract private cleaning companies, so it is a good idea to register with these to find work.

Temp agencies may hire temporary cleaners to meet the demand of summer festival season.

Types of employers varied

Street/park cleaners may work for:

  • private companies that have a contract with local or central government
  • temp agencies
  • city councils.


  • City Care, '2015 Year in Review', 2015, (www.citycare.co.nz).
  • Harley, S, senior recruitment adviser, City Care, Careers New Zealand interview, May 2016.
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Street/park cleaners can progress to become a team leader, move into a management role or start their own business, which may contract to a local council.

Martin Wood scooping up leaves out of a grate in a road

Street/park cleaners prevent drains from blocking by removing leaves from grates

Last updated 23 April 2020