A lot of folk are finding the inconvenience of not being able to find a ‘convenience’ on simple trips to the supermarket or a long walk to keep fit has become a major frustration.

The reality is, truckies who are an essential part of our supply chain and couriers delivering parcels have been asking for this kind of relief since the lockdown began.

Anyone tried to get across the Napier-Taupo Rd without an impending sense of desperation?

The rubbish truck crew who I spotted making a quick diversion into the bushes recently would certainly agree. And from my own experience, walking more than a couple of kilometres away from home can have embarrassing consequences.

And none of our local councils are prepared to re-open those public facilities that have been locked down since March 24 without a prime ministerial decree; meaning it could be at least another week.

Anyone travelling any distance to shop, see clients or conduct business will have one thing in mind; can they make it without a pit stop to the wharepaku (toilet) and, if not, do they have to forgo that glass of water or cup of tea just to get there and back.

This particularly disadvantages the elderly, the incontinent, pregnant women, those with young children and others who hadn’t planned for the consequences of that last bevvy?

Is this a sneaky ploy to keep us in the neighbourhood? Maybe it was an opportunity missed. Had councils considered having staff with the necessary instructions and hygienic accessories on hand like they do in Europe?

Perhaps people would have even been prepared to spend a penny or maybe 10 cents?

So we have to wait for Level 2 before we know whether we can go back to ones and twos on the move, but even then there might be conditions.

Napier City plans to reopen its facilities and services in a staged manner, “depending on guidance” following Monday’s Cabinet meeting; even then it may be a day or two before it prioritises its public loos.

Hastings is keen to get its public conveniences open as soon as possible, but again everything depends on “definitive government advice” before reopening these facilities “if appropriate”.

That will partly depend on re-establishing cleaning routines based on the guidelines. The council understands the inconvenience, but in the meantime re-iterates its endless advice: “Stay home, stay local”!

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