DoC's 'Poo in a Loo' campaign ridiculed online

The Department of Conservation's (DoC's) latest attempt to stop people defecating in inappropriate places is being ridiculed online.

A part of the 'Visit the Kiwi way' campaign, 'Poo in a loo' encourages those hiking and exploring across New Zealand to consider the effects of not responsibly disposing of poo.

It says it's the 'Kiwi way' to use a toilet before going exploring and for people to take every opportunity to use one on their travels as "there can be some distance between toilets in our wild places".

Fecal matter can also make people sick, carrying micro-organisms that easily contaminate water sources. Consequently, defecating in a natural area can contaminate water and soil.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says it is important visitors "understand the need to have as little impact as possible on our wild spaces and natural area".

With a graphic which appears to be made by DoC and tagged under "shitpost", the campaign has been ridiculed online.

"You've heard of elf on the shelf, now get ready for..." joked one user, while another was shocked that an advertising agency had been apparently paid to create the graphic.

But one Twitter user thought it was a "winner".

"Look DoC, when a view comes along that takes my breath away, I'm taking a poo, or a wee. You can't stop me."

In case a toilet is not around, DoC recommends digging a hole away from people and water in a "sunny spot", to speed up decomposition, and make sure any remains are covered over with soil and leaves.

If that's not your thing, DoC advises you can also make a "poo tube" with PVC piping.

Ms Sage said 3.9 million Kiwis and 1.4 million international tourists visit conservation areas at least once a year. DoC is spending an extra $3.6 million this summer to maintain facilities on public conservation land, including cleaning toilets and dealing with toilet waste.

"More people than ever before are enjoying the great outdoors, and I'm pleased that government agencies are stepping up with better infrastructure and resources to maintain and enhance these stunning places," she said.

In the last three financial years, DoC has invested more than $42.4 million in capital expenditure to improve visitor assets like car parks and campsites.


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