A big stink is brewing over a builder's portaloo placed just 3m from the kitchen of a home neighbouring a renovation site.

The toilet was dropped on the North Shore site shortly before Christmas, infuriating Trevor Coppock - who later cancelled his plans to host a family Christmas function - as builders extended his neighbour's house.

The stoush escalated last week when the Auckland Council visited and said, although its placement was an "annoyance" to Coppock, it was not creating any hygiene issues and did not breach any regulations.

Council said builders agreed to move the portaloo, but as of yesterday afternoon it was still in place.


Coppock, 62, said he was worried about potential health concerns when the toilet appeared against the fence line of the neighbouring property.

"I opened my kitchen blinds and it was right there," he said. "I just don't think it is right to have a toilet right by the kitchen in the heat of summer."

"Needless to say I have kept my windows and door shut since it has been there."

The loo was for the use of builders extending his neighbour's house on Onewa Rd in Birkenhead.

Trevor Coppock believes the portaloo should be moved. Photo / Greg Bowker
Trevor Coppock believes the portaloo should be moved. Photo / Greg Bowker

It was originally placed over the fence from his washing line.

Coppock called the council soon after the portaloo arrived to ask about the regulations and to complain about the proximity to his house but did not get a response.

Days later, he woke to find the toilet had been moved down the driveway, right outside his kitchen window.

Coppock said he initially had "zero response" from the council over the holiday period.

Then, on Monday, a senior council officer visited the site and spoke to a builder who said the loo would be moved.

"They received an undertaking the loo would be moved away but nothing happened," Coppock said.

"On Thursday the council came again and a builder on site they said it would be moved but it is still there."

When the Herald on Sunday visited Coppock's house on Thursday one builder on-site showed anger after a council visit.

When the council officer left, the builder, employed by White Worx Building and Maintenence Ltd, climbed onto the fence, yelled obsenities and made offensive hand gestures in Coppock's direction.

The portaloo is on the boundary of the build site and Coppock's house (right). Photo / supplied
The portaloo is on the boundary of the build site and Coppock's house (right). Photo / supplied

No smell was emanating from the toilet when we visited.

Owner of White Worx, Jarrod White, said there was a level of frustration because the company needed a toilet on site and there was nowhere else to put it.

"We are not breaching any rules, it's just a portaloo, I'm not sure what his problem is," he said.

"We can do whatever we want in our yard, it's our yard."

He said the full chemical toilet was cleaned weekly.

"It's just a toilet," White said.

"If he's worried about it being near his property what about the health concerns for us using the damn thing?"

White said his builder was frustrated because Coppock had gone straight to the council.

"I don't see why he doesn't come over and say look our kitchen's here, can we do the right thing and can we figure out where to put it," White said.

"One of my builders was not happy because he thought he had gone the wrong way about it."

Compliance team leader at Auckland Council, Warwick Robertson, said the placement of portaloos must take into account the NZ Building Code.

Section G1.3.2 (e), ensures unpleasant odours, the accumulation of offensive matter and other annoyances are minimised.

"In this case, there are no hygiene issues with the portaloo – there is no odour or leakage," Robertson said.

"However, the placement of the portaloo so close to Mr Coppock's property boundary was considered by him to be an annoyance.

"We have spoken with the builders and they have agreed to move the portaloo, and said that they would do this [on Thursday]."

Coppock said as of yesterday afternoon the Portaloo had not been moved. The property owner could not be contacted for comment.