Red Beach Park in desperate need of toilets
When you gotta go, you gotta go...
But if you happen to be playing at the new playground at Red Beach Reserve, you might just be in trouble.
Maddi, 6, and Olivia, 4, found this out last week, when, needing the toilet, they discovered the nearest public amenities were a 15 minute walk away on little legs.
The walk, which takes around half an hour return for youngsters (and 20 minutes for adults) includes a crossing of the busy Bay St.
Despite being home to a popular playground and sports fields, the much used park on William Bayes Place has never had its own public toilets.
Those who can't keep it in are faced with the walk (or anxious run) of more than 500 metres to the nearest public toilet block on Ngapara St.
And those who simply can't handle running the half kilometre gauntlet slip sneakily into the bushes to relieve themselves, according to neighbours.
Greata Anderson's Esther Place house overlooks the park and she has seen it all before - parents taking their children into the bushes to relieve themselves, and sometimes adults too.
She says building facilities needs to start "sooner rather than later".
"I don't think Health and Safety would give an ordinary citizen that generous a timeline to construct toilets if they had a public facility that attracts large numbers like the park does," she said.
Auckland Council is aware of the park's predicament, and addressed the issue at this year's budget consultation.
Residents were asked if they were in favour of bringing forward planning and delivery of public toilets at the park, and of 175 submissions, 94 were in support, Auckland Council's head of project delivery John Schermbrucker said.
"The next steps during the financial year 2017/18 are pre-planning, investigation, concept design and costings for local board approval.
"We are aiming to apply for resource consent in August 2018, which will be followed by physical works tender and construction in the financial year 2018/19."
It is too early for cost estimates for the project as they are subject to final design.
"The construction timeline will be confirmed once resource consent is granted and the physical works tender is let," Schermbrucker said.
An unscientific poll conducted by Rodney Times on Neighbourly found 100 per cent of respondents believe the park is in desperate need of public toilets.
- Rodney Times