22 February 2013
Artist Kereama Taepa's design for the new toilet shrouds at The Redwoods.
Kereama Taepa’s designs depicting the fragility of our native bird species have been selected to adorn The Redwoods' new public toilets.
Last year Rotorua District Council (RDC) encouraged local artists to submit designs for ‘shrouds’ which will envelop the toilet buildings currently under construction adjacent to the visitor centre.
The new toilets are located between the Redwoods Visitor Centre and existing toilet block, weaving between the trees via a boardwalk. They consist of six unisex cubicles, including one family-friendly compartment and one for disabled users.
RDC Redwoods Forest & Visitor Centre manager Julianne Wilkinson said the Waiariki Institute of Technology art tutor’s design was chosen over designs from artists from around New Zealand and even overseas.
“All concepts submitted were quite different and of such a high quality that it made judging an interesting but very difficult task.
“Kereama’s designs involve the use of cut corten steel, and fuse the traditional Maori kowhaiwhai pattern with imagery of birds incorporated into the design. The designs focus on the fragility of our native bird species, and serve as a reminder to be careful when we go about our everyday activities as our actions affect the environment.”
The $390,000 toilet project is acknowledgement of the dated and inadequate toilet facilities in a popular location which has seen increasing use by visitors and locals alike. The new toilets will help meet forecast demand, with visitor growth increasing every year. Around 220,000 people visited The Redwoods last year, an increase of 20,000 visitors over the last three years.
Ms Wilkinson said the old toilets are likely to remain open during busy peak periods, although they will eventually be removed to make way for more of the new style toilet facilities.