Construction of Upokongaro public toilet block begins

Construction of the Upokongaro public toilet block by Whanganui District Council contractors began on Friday, 18 November 2022 following a blessing of the site earlier in the week. The toilet block will be situated on open land near the Upokongaro War Memorial Hall.

With anticipated growth in visitor numbers associated with the Mountain to Sea Cycle Trail and the Upokongaro cycle and pedestrian bridge that crosses the Whanganui River, the need for a public toilet facility in Upokongaro has become a priority for the council.

The council’s property operations manager, Sandra Woodhead, says, “We’re grateful for the ongoing relationship with local hapū Ngā Paerangi that has made the installation of this community facility possible, and the council also appreciates the involvement of the Upokongaro community.”

To service the new facility, one 20,000-litre biowaste holding tank will be installed underground behind the toilet block and a new 25,000-litre water supply tank will be located behind the Upokongaro War Memorial Hall.

The toilet block will be steel-framed with a reinforced concrete base and a highly-durable fibre cement exterior. The unit has been designed with an awning and privacy screens, and on a single wall, two bicycle racks. New Zealand public toilet designers Exeloo were contracted to supply the facility.

Sandra Woodhead says, “Following the toilet block’s construction phase, the surrounding area will be developed with plantings and the positioning of extra cycle racks.

“The council held a community day at the site of the new facility in July this year to get feedback on possible enhancements to the area, and some of these ideas will be incorporated. We thank the Upokongaro community for their input.”

The toilet block’s construction is expected to be completed in mid-December 2022 after which the facility will be officially opened.