It is fair to say that toilets have become a bit of an obsession for Jo Knox of Orewa, not for health reasons, but because she is the author of a new book, Kiwi-As Toilets.
Her interest in the subject of loos began on family campervan trips that included stops at many public toilets.
“I came to realise that we often stopped as much for the interesting or quirky toilets as for the towns themselves,” Jo says.
A period of research was followed by a four-week family trip, from Paihia to Invercargill, with an itinerary based on toilets stops, including in Matakana and Sullivans Bay.
The process took the Knox family to well-known places, but also off the beaten track. Jo says one of the most interesting toilets was in Ongaonga in Hawke’s Bay, where a police cell has been repurposed into a toilet while retaining key features.
The family “spent a penny” at every toilet in the interests of thorough research.
Jo’s book features 65 toilets, chosen because they are unique, architectural, artistic, award-winning or even historical.
“I think NZ’s toilets are one of its best kept secrets,” Jo says.
The book is available from bookstores including Paper Plus, or kiwiastoilets.co.nz
Mahurangi Matters has one copy of Kiwi-As Toilets by Jo Knox to give away. To go in the draw, email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org and a sentence on why you would like the book. Competition closes on December 10, at 3pm.