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Lack of public toilets, gardens hurt south Invercargill

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Local Democracy Reporter

17 April 2024, 5:00 AM

Lack of public toilets, gardens hurt south InvercargillUpgrades to Invercargill's South City shopping area are a common theme in community engagement, according to organisation South Alive. Photo: Matthew Rosenberg/LDR

Parts of southern Invercargill are desperate for more investment and public toilets, according to a group pushing for equity.

For more than 10 years, community rejuvenation project South Alive has worked to boost its corner of the city by creating pride through various initiatives.

On Friday, its community development and operations manager Courtney Ellison took the floor at council to share areas that needed addressing in the southern part of the city.

“We still receive a lot of comments from the community about the equity of investment and that feeling of the south (of) Invercargill perhaps not having the same standard or levels of service that other parts of Invercargill get,” Ellison said.

“We know that some of this may be historic, but we just want to ensure that that remains front of mind when the asset planning is done.”

Ellison spoke about street beautification, saying the “green belt” which ran from Queens Park in the north of the city to Russell Square in the south highlighted the issue.

Elizabeth Park in south Invercargill is lacking key features, such as good public toilets and rubbish bins. Photo: Matthew Rosenberg/LDR

While garden beds and plantings could be found in the northern section, it turned into grass once it reached the south, she said.

Public toilets were also a problem, with the group’s submission explaining it had been asking for one to be installed at the popular Russell Square for more than five years.

“There is a real lack of public toilets in south Invercargill when you compare it with other parts of Invercargill,” Ellison said.

That issue was also being felt at Elizabeth Park — a prominent city reserve which recently hosted more than 1000 people at a popular children’s day event.

Despite the area being a prominent open space, it also had a lack of public toilets, drinking fountains, seating and rubbish bins.

The existing toilet building was normally locked, and having received a key for the recent event, Ellison said she could see why.

On the day Local Democracy Reporting visited the park, a wheelie bin was located next to the playground.

Resident Destiny Reedy-Cooper said she attended the area regularly with her children, and supported potential upgrades.

"The littering around there is really bad usually, and the drinking fountain would be awesome too," she said.

Other issues highlighted in the submission included upgrades to the South City shopping area, council intervention with neglected properties and dog park improvements.

The public transport system also needed an overhaul, with some people unable to access the supermarket on existing routes, it said.

Deputy mayor Tom Campbell thanked Ellison for her submission to the long term plan hearing, saying South Alive’s work was well-known to the council.

“You do a really good job,” he said.

South Alive was established in 2012 with the help of Invercargill City Council through a strategy in its 2012 - 2022 Long Term Plan.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

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