Our Wellington

News | 30 March 2021

Poem penned to curious pre-schooler

It’s not too often that Council officers reply to queries from the public with poems about poop. In fact, it’s fair to say a recent response to 4-year-old Joshua might well be the first.

The hand-written letter from Joshua.

The pre-schooler from Island Bay wrote to the Council with a particularly curly question.  

The handwritten note read: “My name is Joshua and I am 4. Please tell me where my poop goes when I flush. Thank you. Joshua.” 

Transport and Infrastructure Manager Brad Singh wasted no time in logging the job. 

“I thought, what a great question, and isn’t it cool that this kid has come up with it and then taken the time to write to us. 

“They’d obviously spent a bit of time getting it ready and sending it, so we thought we’d give them an answer that acknowledged that, while also encouraging Joshua in his curiosity.” 

Instead of a boring technical response, Brad decided to crowd-source a more humorous reply from his team. 

He received a variety of weird and wacky answers, with the response best befitting the question coming from senior advisor Shane, who opted for rhyming couplets to show the journey from toilet to tip: 

Your poop goes down your toilet, through a pipe under the road, 
It wriggles along moving like a wet and slippery toad. 

It slithers and slides and moves around the bay, 
until it stops past the airport, for its final stay. 

Your poop is then pumped into the Moa Point pond, 
Where it bubbles and settles until the bugs have all gone. 

What’s left is some gunk and a clean water potion, 
The gunk goes to the tip and the water goes to the ocean. 

The letter ends with encouragement for Joshua to keep asking questions, and an invitation to visit the city’s waste treatment plant "to see what happens to your poop”. 

Joshua’s mum Kath says Joshua was excited with the letter, “and we were so impressed with the creative and individualised response”. 

“He has taken the letter to show his kindy friends and they loved it too.” 

She says Josuha is naturally curious, and is encouraged to ask questions and investigate the answers. 

The family are planning on taking up Brad’s offer of a treatment plant tour. 

Brad says it was nice to be able to provide a human response to a very human question. 

“Hopefully Joshua and his family appreciate our reply, while learning a thing or two about our infrastructure at the same time.” 

The letter was sent off to Joshua on official Council letterhead, complete with a map showing the 6.1km sewerage path from Island Bay to Moa Point.