New public toilets to be installed to stop people being caught short on NZ roads

  • 13/07/2018

It could be the end of the days of getting caught short on your Christmas roadie, or struggling to give directions to the nearest public facilities.  

New public toilets are going to be installed across the country to help deal with the growing problem of freedom campers making a mess of our back yard. 

It's a sight that got us Kiwis fired up.

Freedom campers caught short are using our public spaces as their dumping ground because of a believed lack of toilets.

It's the theme of the latest applications for money from the Government's Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts says: "It's overwhelmingly the applications from councils seems to be toilets and that seems to be where the community is feeling the pinch."

The problem is largely in the regions - where there's a higher ratio of visitors to ratepayers.  

"Where the visitors are spending their money doesn't necessarily end up directly back into those who are having to provide those facilities so that is the challenge," Mr Roberts says.

Tourism experts say loos are overused and an undesirable place for visitors to do their business. 

The popular freedom camper app CamperMate gathers data on the areas most in need.

"It's a bit of a horror seen really with overflowing port a loos in some cases obviously a lack of toilet paper and just a real disgusting mess," CamperMate founder Adam Hutchison says.

"And it's to a point where these tourists just don't want to use them."

Each day there are ten thousand searches for public toilets on the campermate app. this data here shows right now people are looking to use the loo and are at least five kilometres away from the nearest facilities and right here is the hot spot in kingston where people might find they are caught short. 

 With the number of international visitors on the rise like in Akaroa near Christchurch local local authorities are desperate for a solution.

Christchurch Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner says if new toilets were to be built in Akaroa he hoped they would be completed by the end of the year.

It's a waiting game - councils holding on desperately for a dunny solution for what's set to be the busiest summer yet. 

Holly Carran, Newshub.