Restored 'convenience' gains mayoral approval

Last updated 05:00 17/11/2012

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Midway through the inauguration of New Zealand's only "pissoir", Masterton Mayor Garry Daniell cheerfully reported things were "going well".

"I've had a cup of tea half an hour ago so. . .", he said before gamely entering the restored century-old toilet.

The cast-iron pissoir was unveiled at Masterton's Queen Elizabeth Park yesterday, more than 30 years after it was put into a council storage yard and forgotten.

Discovered again this year, it was refurbished and installed at a cost of $40,000, and features two snug urinals open to the elements above, but now with a modern basin and hand-dryer.

It is believed to be the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

The pissoir was one of two ordered in 1905 by Masterton Borough Council for £17 each.

They were erected in Hall St (now Lincoln Rd) and on the corner of Chapel and Perry streets.

Pissoirs date back to 1841, when they first started to appear in Paris.

There are eight in use in Melbourne, and other working examples are located in cities around the world, including London, Birmingham and Sydney.

Also unveiled beside the pissoir yesterday was a modern Exeloo "Pasadena" toilet, complete with non-touch soap dispenser and "automated voice greeting".

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- The Dominion Post

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