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A tale of three dunnies

Opinion Piece

Once Gisborne had a slipway between the river and the wharf to allow the fishing fleet and other small boats to be surveyed and maintained there. As this facility was only accessed from the wharf by a punt, it had a structure that cost approximately 16 pounds 17 shillings and tuppence ha’penny. This structure had WC painted on the door and it very efficiently transferred whatever was dropped into it into the river.

Although this was not environmentally ideal, it was never noticed among the other waste in the river. The crews and the tradesmen who did maintenance on the boats found it very convenient as it did not entail a trip across the harbour every time they had to answer the call of nature. The boat crews considered it far superior to the conveniences on their waka, which consisted of a very acrobatic use of the waka rail. The simple sign identified it as a dunny, and even the users who were not multi-lingual were able to identify its purpose.

I am amazed at the progress our community has made. We now have a leaky manure tray stuck in the middle of the wharf that only cost as much as two houses.

This is an improvement on the Bright Street loos, as I understand that at the time they were built they cost the equivalent of four average houses and were only referred to as toilets. This was understandable, as at the time we were not focused on wellbeing or child poverty.

We have also increased the quantity of waste that is discharged into the river, simply by dumping much of the town’s sewage into the river every time we have over 75mm of rain.

I would suggest that if some of the excessive quantities of money our successive councils have thrown around at these pee-brained schemes, which are really only monuments to their stupidity, was spent on infrastructure — which as I understand is the purpose we pay rates — we might be still able to actually swim in the river.

I am confused at the signage on this latest monument. Surely if we were to honour traditional culture, tradition and customs, the translation would be rakau nui.

Phil Newdick