NZ to get first Changing Places accessible public toilet

New Zealand’s first ever Changing Places accessible bathroom is coming to Hamilton.

It will be located at Hamilton Gardens and feature a height-adjustable adult sized change table and a hoist. It will also include privacy screens and enough space to allow for two caregivers.

Construction of the toilet has begun and is expected to be completed early in the New Year.

The bathroom is the result of a partnership between Hamilton mother Jenn Hooper and Hamilton City Council.

Hooper, inspired by her profoundly disabled daughter Charley, has been working extensively for several years on bringing Changing Places to New Zealand.

“With its worldwide reputation and the wide variety of social events and activities on offer year round, the Hamilton Gardens is the perfect venue to showcase these facilities,” she says.

“It’s fantastic to have full support from the Hamilton City Council for this truly community minded project. The Council was offered the opportunity to lead the country in providing facilities for all of the community – not just almost all – and responded with speed and enthusiasm.”

The Changing Places facility will be situated near the new Destination Playground at the gardens.

“We pride ourselves on catering to all visitors and the construction of the Changing Places toilet reinforces that, allowing more people to enjoy the gardens,” says Hamilton Gardens Director, Dr Peter Sergel.

Changing Places was first established in the United Kingdom 11 years ago. It now has more than 1,000 facilities of this kind nationwide. There are also more than 20 Changing Places in Australia.

Find out more about Changing Places here