Toilets in public places like parks generally have four walls and cubicles for privacy, but Kensington Park-goers are going to the loo in broad view of residents under the shorter palm trees near the kauri tree reserve.
Caroline McLean and husband Ross live on Kensington Ave, with their deck offering a spectacular view of the "children and adults using underneath the palms as a toilet," Caroline told the Advocate.
The McLeans have been haranging council for the past two years, who have acknowledged their concern - which they shared during a recent submission to the amendment of the draft Kensigton Park Reserve Management plan.
It's been happening for the past 15 years they've lived there, but the issue has escalated of late. "People look at the lowest palms and think 'nobody can see us'. We can."
But Mrs McLean doesn't blame the people - more the lack of toilets. The closest are across the rugby fields, inside the ASB complex, which she said are "too far away".
"The big issue is simply that there's nothing there for people to use and I feel sorry for them - it's a basic human right."
Whangarei police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said such behaviour can fall under the scope of two criminal offences - urinating in public and offensive behaviour. In a verbal submission to Whangarei District Council on December 3, she said the toilets would be "ideally built between the netball courts and children's playground beside Kensington Ave, where drainage is already in place". She said deputy mayor Phil Halse was quick to ask whether she'd object to a public toilet right in front of her house. "If it weren't for the kauri trees, and it was best to put a toilet in front of our place, I wouldn't care about that - because it's somewhere for everybody to go."
"It's better than seeing people go to the toilet," she said.
Their secondary suggestion would be to allow park and playground-goers to use the netball club toilets, which are often closed during summer months.
Catherine and her husband Ross' submission was received at an extra-ordinary council meeting on Wednesday. Councillors agreed on the recommendation to get Parks and Recreation staff to request the Whangarei Netball Centre to arrange the public use of the downstairs toilet, for which council will be responsible for the associated maintenance, cleaning and security costs. The WDC has yet to approach the club.