An Auckland man says he was horrified to find Mission Bay's Trevor Moss Davis Memorial Fountain a slimy green and the public toilets blocked and filthy on a recent visit.
Greg Hurt was showing visiting friends from Australia around the area just before Christmas, but said they were all disgusted at what they saw.
"The fountain was green, because people had been swimming in it.
"The public toilets were just disgusting," he told the Herald.
Hurt said the toilets were clogged, with toilet paper scattered all over the floor.
"It's totally disappointing when you take friends somewhere and you want to show off the place, and it's a mess."
Hurt said he wanted to share the experience after seeing The Herald's recent article about a 9-year-old resident who wanted to double the number of drinking-water fountains across Auckland.
"I thought, 'great, I'd like to see that too. But for heaven's sake, the Council needs to learn how to look after the single one they've got.'"
Visiting the area just after 11am on a busy day, Hurt said the beach wasn't any better, with rubbish scattered amongst the sand.
"I've visited beaches on the Gold Coast that are raked regularly which takes away any rubbish. And the place is immaculate, with showers and fountains.
"You look at that and think, 'why can't we have something like that around the waterfront?'"
Auckland Council's Acting Head of Maintenance and Operations Julie Pickering said it was disappointing to hear of Hurt's unpleasant experience.
"Mission Bay is an extremely popular summer spot, and we expect it to be clean, tidy and ready for visitors and locals to enjoy."
"Our maintenance team is onsite at the reserve every day, carrying out essential maintenance services with the frequency increasing over the holiday period to match the increase in visitors," she said.
Pickering said that on the day Hurt visited Mission Bay, an Auckland Council team carried out six scheduled visits, with jobs including cleaning and restocking the toilets, bin emptying, litter removal and general tidying each time.
A plumbing issue on the day blocked the toilets, but this was fixed with urgency, she said.
Hurt said the state of the area was "a joke" when you think of all of the tourists visiting the area over summer.
"We've got people visiting from all around the world, as well as locals, and the fountain's green and it's full of rubbish," he said.
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Pickering said that despite the no-swimming sign at the Trevor Moss Davis Memorial Fountain, people continued to bath in it.
"We would like to remind everyone that entering the fountain is not allowed," she said.
"Not only is it dangerous for children, the water is untreated and it is not supervised by a lifeguard."
People bringing sand and sunblock into the fountain also made the water unsightly, as well as meaning the fountain needed to be completely emptied, cleaned and refilled.
Hurt said the Council needed to properly maintain the fountain and invest in the inexpensive chemicals that would keep the waters crystal clear.
"People swim in swimming pools and they don't turn green. It's just a total lack of any form of maintenance."