30 Nov 2015

Akl Council flushes some gendered toilets

1:39 pm on 30 November 2015

Auckland Council is looking to formally cater for intersex and transgender communities in the way it labels some of its staff toilets.

Public toilet (file photo).

Photo: 123rf

It would involve updating the signs on 35 accessible toilets in two council buildings in the city centre - 26 at the Albert Street premises and nine at nearby Bledisloe House.

At the moment, council staff offices have dedicated restrooms for men and for women, and accessible restrooms that are signposted with a wheelchair symbol.

The accessible restrooms would be updated to include all people with varying needs. They would become 'all-access' toilets signposted for use by everyone: men, women, people who identify as intersex, transgender or transsexual, people with an assist dog, people who are disabled, or have varying accessibility needs, and people with babies and small children.

It is seeking feedback from advisory panels including its new Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel which includes intersex and transgender people.

"The challenges faced by this group on a matter as fundamental as using a restroom in a public space are widely documented," said council manager of corporate property John O'Brien. "The council is interested in hearing more about these challenges from the Panel."

An interim co-chair of the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel declined to comment ahead of its meeting tonight.

Auckland Council is also seeking feedback from its Disability Advisory Panel, and its Seniors Advisory Panel.

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