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Octagon toilets that open all hours and a contest to design a "Dunedin dunny'' are both possibilities following a meeting of the Dunedin City Council's infrastructure services committee yesterday.
The committee decided to ask council staff for a report on 24-hour toilets for the Octagon after Cr Neil Collins described the Monday morning mess that confronts nearby retailers - particularly those in Bath St.
The nearest toilets to the Octagon, in the Municipal Chambers, are closed from 8.30pm-8.30am except Fridays, when they close at 8pm, and Sundays, when they close at 5pm. Last year, the council decided not to extend the hours.
Proposing the investigation of 24-hour toilets, Cr Teresa Stevenson said it had been discussed every year that she had been on the council.
Council policy analyst team leader Mike Roesler said focus groups had identified that "de luxe'' toilets, equivalent to restrooms, were needed in the city and that users were prepared to pay.
Cr Dave Cull suggested a "superloo'' could be incorporated into the proposed Dunedin Centre redevelopment.
Cr Kate Wilson said she judged towns by the state of their toilets and suggested that a challenge should be put out to designers to come up with a "Dunedin dunny''.
A new publication by Norman Ledgerwood, The Heart of the City, notes that underground toilets were built in the Octagon about 1910. Complaints about them began appearing in the Otago Daily Times in the 1960s.
The toilets were modernised in the mid '60s and then filled in with rubble in 1989 when the Octagon was redeveloped.