TODAY |

Fair Go: Relief at last for Taranaki woman who went two years without a flushing toilet or sewage system


Around 18 months ago Waitara woman Vicki Gundensen came to Fair Go with a unique problem.

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Around 18 months ago a Waitara woman came to Fair Go with a unique problem. Source: Fair Go

"Yeah I had no toilet or sewage," she says as she showed us around her section. Vicki has a kitchen, living area, bedroom - everything a house needs apart from a bathroom, toilet and shower.

Vicki purchased the section two years ago. She put her life savings, $80,000, into it and checked with a number of people about whether the sewage was hooked up.

"Between the neighbour behind me, the real estate (agent), the previous owner and the photo I got from the [New Plymouth District] Council, I really did think the sewage was here."

The Council photo showed the pipe going into her house. Then when she went to dig for it she couldn’t find it.

"This is really frustrating. I've been digging all day," she said.

"I rang that fella at Council and he said it's definitely there. It was there in 2010."

She was puzzled.

"Maybe someone's pinched it," she says with a laugh.

"Then [the Council] rang me up and say oh really sorry; sometimes people make a mistake. That was their answer; they had made a mistake."

Vicki Gundensen’s sewage connection didn’t exist. The Council’s David Langford says the map has a disclaimer accepting no responsibility for its accuracy because it’s based on historic information.

"We encourage people to get a LIM report. The reasons for that is LIM reports are prepared with a higher degree of accuracy."

Following her appearance on Fair Go, Vicki received a phone call from the Council and ultimately a visit from some contractors.

"The very next day the Council rang me and had people coming around to get quotes to put the sewage on."

So Vicki went shopping.

"I went out and bought a toilet."

The Council paid for her sewage connection. The first flush was ceremonial.

"Oh it was exciting and we all stood around. My sister in Australia wanted to hear it flush so I flushed it for her."

Vicki wanted to thank the New Plymouth District Council. She tells us from her loo, she loves her throne so much she keeps the door open.

"It’s a loo with a view," she says with a wide grin.