Resort tracks caked in cack

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Working for City Hall can be a really shitty job – literally.

Queenstown council’s parks boss Clare Tomkins says her team come across human poo almost daily.

“This season it hasn’t been as bad as previous years – we think that may be to do with the inclement weather we’ve had over summer.

“In our discussions with other districts it seems this is a common problem throughout the country.”

She says it’s disappointing folk think it’s OK to use reserves as a toilet and not clean up after themselves.

Tomkins isn’t the only one concerned about constant crap in public.

Queenstown Hill walker Kay Benneworth was horrified when she spotted two piles of doo-doo on the council-maintained track last month.

She also witnessed a small child “squatting down” – relieving himself at the side of the track.

The piles of poo were “too big” to be a youngster’s, Benneworth notes.

“They were quite large. I was disgusted.

“I am aware in some cultures that is what you do, but not in New Zealand. It was just out in the open and in public view.

“A lot of people use the track and could walk through it and cart it off on their shoes.

“At least if you are going to do something like that you should go off the track a bit.”

She was surprised council deals with so many cases and says it could become more of a fixture with the increase in tourism and visitors from non-Western cultures.

She thinks council should consider putting a loo at the start of the Queenstown Hill track, adding: “It is a long way up and down and there is nowhere to go.”

Unwanted waste isn’t just a council problem.

Department of Conservation Queenstown boss Geoff Owen says it employed an extra ranger this summer to cope with pressures on amenities.

Thankfully not as many instances were reported and its concerns weren’t solely about dealing with number twos.

“There is certainly an increase in general rubbish being left behind.

“We faced visitor pressures last year with the amount of waste generated.”

His message is clear – use the facilities.

“Overall have respect for the environment and other users of our parks.”

Tomkins encouraged people to report any incidents and says the council will look into fining those responsible.

louises@scene.co.nz