Support for additional public toilets elicits groans, giggles

The need to go — and where to do so — led to some groans inside the Dunedin City Council’s Municipal Chambers yesterday.

But far from being caught short, Dunedin city councillors were trying to ensure ratepayers avoided any similar indignities by asking for a staff report on the provision of more public toilets.

The move came after members of the West Harbour and Otago Peninsula community boards put additional toilets high up on their wish-lists when they addressed councillors at yesterday’s pre-draft annual plan meeting.

West Harbour board chairwoman Francisca Griffin told the meeting at least two more toilets were needed in her patch, at Purakaunui and St Leonards, the latter to cater for people using the State Highway 88 shared path.

Otago Peninsula Community Board chairman Paul Pope said better facilities were also needed on the peninsula, including either an upgraded crossing to existing toilets at Macandrew Bay or a new public toilet closer to the area’s beach.

Cr David Benson-Pope, responding to the requests, put forward a motion asking staff to report back on the priorities for upgrading or building new public toilets.

The work would help "ease pressure" on the issue, he quipped.

Cr Jules Radich agreed, saying the issue was of "significant concern" to visitors and residents alike.

Cr Andrew Whiley supported the motion, even if toilets were expensive, as more were clearly needed.

"There is definitely a need to relieve that pressure," he said, as colleagues around him began to laugh or groan.


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