Heritage protection could be coming for New Zealand's oldest free-standing toilet

John McKenzie
Source: 1News

New Zealand’s oldest free-standing dunny, looks set for national recognition.

Yes you have read that correctly.

Built in 1912, a Dunedin public toilet could soon have high-level heritage protection, despite it not being used for close to 40 years.

“We think it may be the oldest Edwardian styled toilet in New Zealand, definitely in Dunedin,” says DCC digital archivist Alison Breese.

When it comes to historical toilets, Alison Breese is an expert, often referred to as "the loo lady".

She’s applied to get the toilet high level heritage protection, saying it needs to be saved.

“It sort of gives that glimpse in to public sanitation of the time… these types of toilets were really cutting edge in the early nineteen hundreds,” Ms Breese says.

The toilets escaped demolition in the mid-1970s, with the local bus depot fighting to keep them for its staff.

That only lasted a few years however, with the doors padlocked shut in the 1980’s.

It’s estimated to take around one year for Ms Breese to find out if the toilets get its high level protection.

A little piece of convenience history, Dunedin hopes doesn’t go down the drain.