New loos for Pirongia win funding from MBIE
Half a million dollars in funding has now been allocated to build new public toilets for Pirongia village, thanks to a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment allocation of $250,000 from its Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
Waipa¯ District Council has already budgeted the remaining $250,000 needed for the project through its recent 10-Year Plan.
The Tourism Infrastructure Fund supports development of public infrastructure used by tourists and visitors to the district.
Waipa¯ District Pirongia ward councillor Clare St Pierre says the funding was the result of excellent work from a number of Pirongia groups and residents, encouraged by Hamilton and Waikato Tourism.
She says while council made the application, Pirongia Community Association gathered information from local groups and businesses to make a strong case.
Council community facilities manager Bruce Airey said the funding was a “massive win” for the village, where the toilets have been struggling to keep up with the increasing numbers of tourists making a comfort stop.
“With the proximity to Waitomo Caves and other tourist destinations, these facilities are well-used by tourists and locals alike,” says Bruce.
“This funding will enable us to create a purpose-built facility to cater to the demand and we’ll also be able to resolve the issues dealing with the waste from the current facility.” Clare says it was obvious the current toilet block was no longer fit for purpose with the increasing demand.
“Up to 50 buses per day stop in the village, mostly so its passengers can use the toilets and mostly between 9am and 11am,” says Clare.
“It puts a lot of pressure on the system in a short space of time — and sometimes it cannot cope.
“It is the busy hub of the village — with shops, food outlets and a hotel, playcentre, Heritage and Information Centre, play area and parking all in the same proximity — so it is important the toilets are up to standard,” says Clare. She says it is also part of attracting new families to the village that the toilets are working properly, especially considering how close they are to Pirongia Playcentre.
As a councillor, Clare says it is fantastic the Tourism Infrastructure Fund is available to take some of the pressure off ratepayers.
Bruce says council will be working closely with the Pirongia community to determine the best location for the toilets when design gets underway.
“There’s still a bit of work to do before council will have a timeframe for construction.
“We know these toilets are needed and we are keen to get this project started as soon as possible.”
Waipa¯ District councillor Clare St Pierre outside Pirongia’s no longer fit-for-purpose public toilets which will be replaced with assistance from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.