Is that toilet a crayfish or an aardvark?
A $400,000 designer dunny - said to resemble either an aardvark or a crayfish - could become the most famous loo in Wellington.
Wellington Waterfront (WWL) chief executive Ian Pike said resource consent had already been granted for the unisex block at Kumutoto, which would help to fill a shortage of public toilets on the waterfront.
"It is an absolute work of art, a sculpture piece that has variously been called an aardvark, anteater and crayfish - but we haven't given it a name."
The design was the winning entry from a competition held between 30 young designers from the Studio of Pacific Architecture.
Wellington City Council recommends the toilets be built as part of its draft Waterfront Development Plan, which goes out for public comment later this month. It was included in the plan at the suggestion of mayor Kerry Prendergast at yesterday's strategy and policy committee meeting.
She likened the proposed dunnies to the Friedensreich Hundertwasser-designed toilets in Kawakawa, south of Paihia -- the most photographed loos in the country.
"What is proposed are really innovative and creative and they will become a tourist attraction in their own right."
But councillor Stephanie Cook said it was the wrong time to be building fancy toilets. "We shouldn't be building a $400,000 designer dunny, which is a rip-off from some small place up north. What we should be building, during the recession, is a long drop."
Councillors opposed to the toilets said they were four times more expensive than bog-standard models in the city, while Ms Prendergast said they were just over twice as expensive. Two of the newest toilet blocks in the city - at Mt Victoria and in Central Park - cost just over $100,000 each.
The draft plan also recommends that an ice-skating rink be set up over winter. Possible sites include under the Queens Wharf sails, or in Shed 1 on the wharf's Outer T.
If Shed 1 was used, then indoor soccer and market days may be held in a temporary fabric structure between Te Papa and Waitangi Park.
A temporary 40-berth campervan park at the end of Whitmore St has also been proposed and could be operating by December.
A Michel Tuffery Nga Kina sculpture, kina-shaped concrete structures attached to the seabed at Kumutoto, is also planned.
The new waterfront proposals temporarily replace major waterfront developments that have been delayed for up to five years because of the recession.
The delay was to have seen WWL become redundant and developments come back to the council in July next year. The timeframe was extended in the draft till 2012 so the projects could be completed.
The Dominion Post