Wanted: Toilet rustlers in Te Moana Gorge

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Published: 15 Aug 2017

An inexplicable theft in the Te Moana Gorge could leave travelers caught short and the council with a large bill.

A person in the Gorge called the council this week after noticing that someone had made off with the modern single block toilet that had been installed recently. It was stolen some time between Thursday 10th August and Monday 14th August.

The toilet, which will cost about $5000 to replace, was customised with local information on the outside walls. It was stolen in the past few weeks leaving only a concrete pad and the underground chamber behind.

Timaru District Council Group Manager Corporate Services, Tina Rogers, said that it’s a baffling theft considering how distinctively marked the toilet is and that it was surrounded by a chain fence and bollards.

“We’re stumped as to why someone would go to the not inconsiderable effort to steal the toilet, it isn’t even a self contained unit that could be easily put to another use,” she said.

“There was the initial thought that the storm may have blown it away, but on closer inspection the bolts holding the toilet on have been carefully removed, so someone has gone onsite, unbolted the toilets, removed the chimney from the holding tank and lifted it over the boundary fence.

“We’re now facing a $5000 bill to reinstate a toilet at this site, and we’re considering the option of removing it each winter to stop it disappearing again.”

There are two other toilet blocks in the Gorge, which are still open. If anyone spots a TDC marked toilet somewhere where it shouldn’t be, please email enquiries@timdc.govt.nz

Publish Date: 15 Aug 2017