Double standards at Parnell Baths?

Parnell Baths in Auckland, New Zealand
Staff at the Parnell Baths have been searching bags and confiscating food. (Getty)

For more than a century Kiwi families have taken picnic lunches into Auckland's famous salt water pool in Parnell.

But this summer pool authorities have been checking bags and confiscating some food items including commercially bought consumables - or asking people to prepare their food outside the pool complex before they can bring it inside.

Auckland mother Vanya Marsh contacted Newshub after she was horrified to witness a Māori woman making her family's chicken rolls outside the entry door before they could be allowed in.

"She was quickly trying to break open the bread rolls and the chicken and trying to make her bread rolls outside the door, right outside the doorway, and I said 'what's going on?' and she said 'you can't bring food in, do you have food?'" 

When she asked pool staff what was going on, Ms Marsh says she was told it was a new council decision to not allow large food items inside the pool complex, and that the Parnell Baths had its own food shop.

Ms Marsh told Newshub she noticed plenty of confiscated food behind the counter, but once she got inside she noticed some families with chilly bins full of large food and drink items.

So are there double standards at the Parnell Baths for what food families can bring inside?

The facility's general manager of operations Kirsty Knowles sent Newshub a statement, saying there were ongoing issues with people smuggling food and alcohol into the baths, and that the new measures were designed to combat that.

"We are a family facility that is alcohol-free, however, unfortunately due to a number of people not respecting these policies we do check bags for any prohibited items.  

"We aim to do this as respectfully and quickly as possible.

 "We do prohibit commercial food i.e. Pizza Hut, KFC etc from coming into the facility similar to other businesses.  

"This is due to the amount of packaging and food scraps i.e. chicken bones that are left behind.  In the height of summer this unfortunately can attract pests.  We aim to operate a hygienic and clean facility and minimising the amount of rubbish on site by the implementation of these policies will help us achieve this goal."

Do you feel you've had food confiscated unfairly at the Parnell Baths? Contact Newshub: