A lack of soap in Tauranga public toilets has been highlighted as a health concern by a University of Otago study.
The study, undertaken by public health researchers Nick Wilson and George Thomson, showed almost 40 per cent of public toilets surveyed throughout the North Island did not have any soap, or the dispenser was empty or broken.
The researchers said this situation was "inadequate" for public health in terms of preventing gastrointestinal and respiratory infectious diseases.
Other concerns highlighted in the report were a lack of cleanliness and doors that did not shut properly.
The Bay of Plenty Times undertook its own survey of six Western Bay public toilets to see how they measured up.
The survey compared the cleanliness of the toilets; availability of soap, toilet paper and drying facilities; whether there were working locks and the lighting of the toilets.
The overall results showed Tauranga's public toilets rated well for cleanliness, but only half of those surveyed had soap available.
Tauranga City Council spokesman Marcel Currin said the council had established levels of service for public toilets that determined things like the frequency of cleaning, toilet paper re-stocking and which locations needed soap dispensers. "If anyone ever has a complaint about the cleanliness or condition of public toilets they should always contact the council," he said.
The Bay of Plenty Times last conducted a public toilet survey in 2010.
The Papamoa Domain block scored lowest with only three out of 10 and Mount Maunganui Main Beach was highest with an eight.
In 2010 our reporter found faeces and urine all over the floor of the Papamoa Domain toilets. This time only one toilet had urine on the seat, although there was toilet paper all over the floor.
The downtown Mount Maunganui toliets improved the most with a four point jump.