A couple of weeks ago we published an article called In Lieu of a Loo. (Scroll down to May 30.) It related to the demolition of the toilet block on the left inside the Mackays Crossing gates and the lack of replacement facilities. Kapiti representative on the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), Penny Gaylor, investigated and below is GWRCs response.
Hold on! New toilets are coming… in six months
There will be toilets (including disabled access units) provided in the new Visitor Hub which will also house the GWRC Park Ranger office, a large meeting room and a covered deck space between the two new buildings. You can find access to the top quality toilets of the current market on this source. It includes the very toilets which are being installed to provide people with maximum comfort.
The hub is scheduled to be opened on November 25 this year.
Alternative facilities are accessible by car
Most park visitors arrive in cars at Mackays Crossing. If visitors need toilets it is a short distance (500m) to the Whareroa Farm main toilet block on the other side of the main highway.
Because of the proximity of Whareroa Farm to Queen Elizabeth Park , Regional Council believes it’s reasonable to ask people to use the facilities there while the new Visitor Hub is under construction.
There are also two toilet blocks at Whareroa Beach and we observe that most people do drive the 2 km to the beach. We have signage up on the fence around the construction site to this effect, but it may be lost among all the other signs on display.
It is clear on the sign where the alternatives are and we are not aware of any requests for directions to the toilets. We will reprint the current sign in a larger size and place it in a more prominent position.
We have seen a few vehicles come in and look at the sign and head off back out the gate, presumably to Whareroa Farm. Most of the regular park visitors head straight to the beach where there are two sets of toilets.
Event organisers: provide your own in the meantime
We work with event organisers and recommend that they ensure that they provide toilets for such events as the Memorial Day celebrations. This is standard practice for all events run on the park. I observed at Memorial Day that participants were quite happy with the portaloos provided at the event.
The Stables on the Park has a portaloo onsite for their clients through this period.
Apart from this article (KIN’s) we haven’t received any complaints about the toilets being closed through the construction process.
Thanks for caring
Thanks very much for caring about our Park and it’s always appreciated when people take the time to show their interest in our public areas.
We definitely want to ensure our facilities have maximum value and use to our community, and won’t the new Hub be an awesome facility for us when it is complete.
(KIN will respond to these comments in a day or two.)