Spotlight on public tourism facilities
17 Aug 2021
New Zealanders have stepped up to the plate following the urging of Tourism New Zealand to ‘do something new’ with a total of $8.37 billion spent on domestic travel in the 12-month period since May 2020. This, coupled with the prospect of increasing numbers of Australian tourists visiting our shores over summer, brings the spotlight back to public facilities, particularly in regions like Queenstown Lakes where local businesses are reliant on tourist dollars.
Lake Wānaka is one of New Zealand’s most visited areas, hosting over 450,000 tourists in the 2018/2019 season. Over the past two years QLDC has commissioned an additional ten prefabricated public toilet units, designed and manufactured in Auckland and transported down the country for rapid installation by New Zealand company, Exeloo. One of the flagship units is sited on the Wānaka lakefront (see cover image) in an area designated as an outstanding natural landscape.
Blending in seamlessly
Fitting in with the landscape was a priority for the Wānaka Community Board. QLDC Parks Project co-ordinator Maddy Dowman worked closely with parks planners and the Exeloo team to design the unit based on community feedback complimenting the stunning landscape. Architectural features like 100% Futurewood battens and schist panelling were incorporated to meet community design objectives.
“Exeloo public toilets are high functioning, modern units that are easy to maintain and have robust recessed features that prevent vandalism,” said Maddy. “The outside can be designed to fit in with any environment and they are easy to clean and maintain. We’ve now installed ten units in the district, with two more to come, nine were funded through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.”
Exeloo units are designed to be council compliant and to reduce operational costs while supporting the safe, hygienic use of public spaces for visitors and the local community. Company Sales Manager Josh Hunt explains: “Public toilet design is a specialist area and, with nearly 30 years’ experience, Exeloo is able to supply practical, safe and hygienic designs. Our units are manufactured to meet regulations, reduce operational costs and improve hygiene in public spaces for visitors and local communities.”
Prefabrication means that Exeloo public toilets can also be installed quickly, minimising disruption to the site and the community. Units can be disconnected and redeployed if service provisions or usage patterns at a site change. Small single cubicle units can be replaced with higher-capacity multi-cubicle toilets, often without service upgrades, to match changing visitor volumes. This flexibility helps councils get the best out of capital investment across the whole life of the asset. QLDC has just commissioned a second unit for the Wānaka lakefront, due for installation in July 2021.