Plans for Octagon toilet

Plans for a new 24-hour toilet in the Octagon are expected to be unveiled within months.

Dunedin City Council city property manager Robert Clark yesterday said talks about a new facility were continuing with private provider Exeloo, and a report presenting options would be given to councillors by May.

Potential sites around the Octagon - including inside buildings or on the street - were being considered for the toilet, which the company would pay to build and run on a user-pays basis.

It would provide several individual stalls for public use day and night, but the council's existing Municipal Lane toilet located nearby would continue to operate, he said.

Cr Teresa Stevenson said the option of a free 24-hour toilet should also be considered, otherwise ''frugal people'' would continue to make use of nearby bushes.

Mr Clark said that was already being considered and a free option would also be on the table.

''There will be a number of people who won't want to pay, and the results will be obvious.''

Mention of the company's name drew hisses from Cr Fliss Butcher, because of concerns about older designs and incidents in which customers had found themselves temporarily locked inside toilets.

However, Mr Clark said the company's newer designs were ''pretty interesting''.

''They have come a long way in the last few years . . . [and] they are a lot more fail-safe than they used to be.''


Election issue

The Octagon toilet proposal is obviously shaping up to be THE big issue for the local body election in October. Forget about reducing debt, rescuing the money sucker stadium etc

(Though I do remember the old South Dunedin ward councillors getting het up about putting a dunny in South Dunedin.)

Ah this brings back memories

Ah this brings back memories used to have to pay a penny to use the toilets at the back of the Exchange when the Exchange building was still there. If you want horror last year there was one of the new type in Invercargill cannot rember which shopping centre but just after you had sat down after exposing yourself the door would open any one in the shops or outside could see you.

Water table, Ian

At least it's something to go on.

Really Mr Clarke!

'Going' in-the-bushes, would be bad enough, for our city centre, but on-the-table, and 'free' is, I think taking it all a bit too far. In any case, what table?

Octagonal toilet

Correct. An eight sided toilet seat would be rough. But if it's Continental you're after, put in bidets, er, bidaze.

I'm sorry but... I the only one that sees the most obvious drawback to all this? An Octagon toilet would be most uncomfortable, as the corners of the seat would poke into your legs as you are sitting.

C'mon Dunedin inventors! Surely you can do better than this!


Talking Exeloo Blues

Anyone that has used these machines knows they are Alice Ghastley. A hidden American gives instructions and a ten minute countdown, becoming especially exercised if there is no movement in the cubicle, and threatening to open the door.

how about un pissoir?

The French have pissoirs in their cities and towns. Why not us? Given the propensity of young men, in particular, to urinate in public places, it sounds like a good idea for here. Easier and cheaper to build and brings a bit of cosmopolitan 'La France culture' to our fair city.

Not sure what to do for the 'ladies', but maybe they could work on their pelvic floor muscles! 

Free toilet

Nobody should have to pay for what is natural: Free toilets, please - 24/7.

The Lady is a Tramp

It would be interesting to know what constituted unladylike back in the day. One heard of The 'Rumpty', who just sounded like happy demi mondaine. I fear it was as trivial as being out after nine, or drinking in the public bar. Forget the wine and dance mrs, you can only do the 'dine' bit.

Penny forum

What nearby bushes? It's thrifty tae be frugal. What do you mean a Councillor hissed? Alger Hiss.

Octagon overhaul

I agree with ej kerr here. The Octagon is indeed well overdue for an overhaul. Time to get rid of all those awful pavers, which make driving and walking a third world country experience. It's also time to reinstall the fountain and perhaps toilets could be incorporated with this, as they used to be.

The old Octagon toilets

There used to be a Men's toilet underground, accessed by steps off the Octagon opposite the Regent.  The Ladies' was in the Athenaeum building, supervised by a woman attendant.  Men could "go" at any hour.  Ladies were supposed to be safely and respectably home of an evening, not rambling around the city trying to find a loo. There were ladies, and there were other females in those days.  I've no idea what the unladylike women were supposed to do - stay under the civic radar, I suppose.

Toilets for shoppers

Slightly off topic, but since it's owned by City Property I'll venture this about the public toilets on the ground floor at Wall Street mall. The door to the women's facilities opens from the short passageway to expose all women and children using the handbasins, dryers and mirrors. There is no privacy because, unfortunately for both genders, any men innocently making their way to the men's facilities get an eyeful as soon as the door opens. Useless unforgiving design, I'm surprised it got through the planning stage.

Free-to-use public toilets

The safest sort of toilet facilities for 24-hour public use are free-to-use serviced ones, in a well-managed and safely lit building. The better the standard, styling and supervision of the facilities, the less likely they are to be damaged and abused. Plus it creates a couple of caretaker jobs.

Why would we wreck the poor old Octagon, long overdue for a landscape upgrade, with freestanding 'pay-as-you-go' Exeloos, whatever their design?

No need for toilet

If the council wants to save money, there is already a toilet in the Town Hall complex down the lane towards the library. Make it 24 hour if need be. What's the point of having another one only metres away?

You're joking, right?

What a pointless exercise. Building a pay toilet when there's a free one not far away. Have we really come to the stage where we are going to have to pay to go to the loo? I, like many others, would refuse to use it on principle. [abridged]

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