Mangaweka cafe leads the call for public toilets
Motorists stopping at a Mangaweka cafe and trashing its bathroom have prompted calls for a public toilet to be installed.
Papa Cliffs Cafe owner Sharon Grayson said travellers are making a pit stop at her Koraenui St business, leaving a mess and not buying anything.
"They're walking straight in and straight back out at the moment and leaving a trail of destruction."
The freeloaders were leaving toilet rolls, nappies and toilet paper lying on the floor, Grayson said.
The cafe has two toilets, one for men and one for women.
Grayson said she was willing to have public toilets built on her land and has set up a petition to take to the Rangitikei District Council.
"Half of the signatures are from tourists coming to use our toilets," she said.
"When I have an elderly customer come up to me and ask if there are any other toilets, because our ones are trashed, you know something has to be done.
"We have exceptional facilities and service here, but I can't allow them to get taken advantage of."
Grayson said some tourists come by the bus load.
"I think it's a basic human right to use a toilet. I'm giving the council an opportunity to do something about it or I'll have to go to plan B, which is finding independent people to fund the project.
"If you want a little town to survive you've got to bring it back to life."
Rangitikei mayor Andy Watson said he was aware of a push for the council to provide toilet facilities within its annual plan allocation.
"I'm quite supportive to be honest, but I'm unaware of the costs at this stage."
"The project has got a lot of community support and we're always talking about catering to the passing and travelling motorists."
Watson said he was prepared to approach the New Zealand Transport Agency and ask whether they could subsidise the facility.
"My pick is they would say that's not the role of central government, but we'll see where the conversation with the community goes."
Mangaweka resident Richard Aslett said the Mangaweka Community Committee was remaining in contact with the council.
"The lack of regular public conveniences in town is an issue and is something that needs resolving."