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Friday, May 6, 2011

Toilet duty possible for petty criminals

Toilet duty possible for petty criminals

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2011
 
Petty criminals are being lined up to ease the problem of chemical toilet maintenance in eastern Christchurch.

Many elderly and disabled people have been unable to empty heavy chemical toilets. This has forced them to seek help or stretch already frail sewerage systems by using their regular toilets.

Eastern Christchurch-based National Party list MP Aaron Gilmore said people sentenced to community service may be asked to visit those in need and offer to empty their toilets.

"I've had discussions with the minister of police and the minister of social development, and they are both very supportive," he said. "Lots of elderly people have had massive problems emptying them [chemical toilets] and so far the [city] council's advice has been don't wait until they're completely full.

"But a frail 85-year-old woman can't just do that."

Making sure recidivist dishonesty offenders were not considered for the programme was a given, Gilmore said.

Gilmore suggested people with many unpaid traffic fines as suitable for the service. "Youth Justice is doing some work on how many people is that and would it work? If you've got, say, a dozen, you could cover most neighbourhoods on a daily basis."

Wainoni Avonside Community Services Trust chairman Bill Martin said such a service was desperately needed in his neighbourhood.

There was no launch date for the programme yet.

A separate initiative known as Project Plant was under way to give quake-displaced residents land to keep garden plants during the rebuild process. Residents could register at projectplant@parliament.govt.nz before Sunday.

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