News | 4 August 2023
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'Ideas man' befriends Council Contact Centre staff through daily calls

The Wellington City Council Contact Centre team often take up to 700 calls a day, and you can bet that at least three of those calls are coming from frequent customer, ‘Ideas man’ James.

Team Leader Matai holding a painted canvas, with two other pieces of art sitting on the windowsill.
Team Leader Matai with paintings from 'Ideas man'.

In the last six years, Ideas Man has called up every single day to share his thoughts on how he thinks the world and Wellington can be improved.

While the Contact Centre don’t claim to have favourites, most of the staff have had a conversation with Ideas Man and look forward to chatting to him.

Team Leader Customer Services Matai Te Kere has had plenty of discussions with James and says that he always has such fresh and creative ideas.

“One time, he suggested that we dig up a huge hole in the middle of the Sahara Desert so when it rains, people don’t have to walk far to get water. He’s always thankful that we listen to him and his ideas.”

While they get plenty of calls from regulars, James is always a stand-out because of how different his ideas are, says Matai. 

“He’s told us before that we should plant grains in everybody’s front yard so that they have access to food. He’s always thinking of what we can do to be better.”

Three canvas artworks sitting on a window sill.
James's artwork in the Council office.

On top of providing creative ideas on the phone, James is a keen artist and has painted three wonderful canvas artworks for the Contact Centre staff, which are proudly displayed in the middle of the office. 

Each painting has been collected by separate team leaders, with Matai making the most recent visit to pick up his latest piece of art. 

To say thank you for all his input and new art piece, Matai dropped off some fresh paints and a card signed by all the customer services representatives.

With so many calls coming into the Contact Centre, customers like James bring a lot of joy and help bring positivity to every day.

“The Council is so big and covers so many areas that not every interaction can be a positive experience. Most people need a chance to vent and then afterwards they often call back to apologise. 

"Calls from James and other regulars like him help us put things into perspective and bring us a lot of happiness. It shows how much people care about the city and it’s lovely to see.”

If you have any queries about the Wellington City Council services please contact us.