Press Release – Horizons Regional Council
Public toilets installed in the car park at the Ashhurst end of the Gorge last week are open for business for Easter.MEDIA RELEASE
Horizons Regional Council
Thursday 28 March, 2013
Toilets at Gorge open for business
Public toilets installed in the car park at the Ashhurst end of the Gorge last week are open for business for Easter.
Made in New Zealand the Permaloo toilets are manufactured from sustainable natural resources such as concrete, simply designed and reinforced to withstand harsh environments. The toilet has a holding septic tank that will be pumped out on a regular basis.
Horizons Regional Council project leader Neil Mickleson says with visitor numbers increasing the toilets are yet another reason for people to get out and enjoy what the Gorge has to offer.
“Visitors to the Gorge are growing and growing. In January 2012 2,000 people walked the track and this year in January 7,000 people walked the track – which is just fantastic,” says Mr Mickleson.
The Manawatu Gorge Biodiversity Project is a partnership between Horizons Regional Council, DoC, Tararua District Council, Palmerston North City Council, NZTA, KiwiRail and local iwi to preserve, sustain and enhance the biodiversity, scenic and recreational values of the unique site.
Mr Mickleson says installing public toilets in the car park has been on the cards for the project since the beginning.
“One of our goals was to have a toilet facility that was state of the art and also eco-friendly,” says Mr Mickleson.
“We started looking into options about two years ago and suggestions ranged from one way glass walled toilets from Scandinavia to mosaicked loos like the one in Kawakawa in Northland,” he says.
The public toilets surrounding Lake Taupo were a favourite option of the group and after a tour of the facilities the decision was made.
“Taupo District Council took us round the toilets and we were really impressed,” says Mr Mickleson.
“Not only were they a really tidy set up, but the exterior of each toilet was painted by a local artist so they blended into the environment and weren’t an ugly concrete fixture. We hope to get the exterior of our toilet painted soon so it blends in with the fantastic landscape of the Gorge.
“We are also hoping to install a toilet at the top of the track where the Tawa loop track, which opened in December, and the original track meet,” he says.
Since the project started in 2006 the car park has been upgraded with contouring, planting, picnic tables, turning bays and toilet installations; the Tawa Track has been developed and there have been two new look outs added on the tracks.