'Clean up your mess': Tūrangi residents incensed by town being used as toilet, dumping ground

Locals say there is an awful stench around the Z petrol station.
Locals say there is an awful stench around the Z petrol station. Photo credit: Google Earth.

Tūrangi residents are fed up with their town being used as a toilet, as passers-by treating its streets like bathrooms after dark.

State Highway 1 runs through the central North Island town, making it popular for passing tourists and truck drivers, but locals say that this stream of visitors is creating a foul stench.

Tūrangi's public toilets close at 10pm, so busting tourists coming through the town later than that have been defecating, urinating and littering on the sides of the roads.

Andy Hema, Chairman of the Tūrangi-Tongariro community board, says he understands that the lack of public toilets late at night is frustrating for some, but says there is no excuse for pooping in a public place.

"I know when you gotta go when you gotta go - but hey, clean up your mess and don't do it here on our back doorstep."

He said the smell from all the people's waste is particularly bad along a stretch of road in the centre of town.

"Along the fence line between the Z [petrol station] and the tavern, there's just a horrible smell of urine and human faeces."

He says the toilets were once accessible 24/7, but after they were trashed multiple times the community board decided to lock them at 10pm each night.

"We've had issues before in the Tūrangi township where the toilets have been left open overnight. I guess it's an option to leave the toilets open overnight again, but that's only going to bring in another lot of problems."

Mr Hema said he would be talking to local businesses, including the Tūrangi Z petrol station to try to sort out the issue.

"We need to try to work with the owners or the landlords of these places that this is happening - maybe we can come up with a solution."