Where is it?
What a location for New Zealand’s third Changing Place!
Hamilton’s new Rotokauri Transport Hub for the bus routes, and new commuter train service that travels north to Auckland City return. A stone’s throw away via an elevator and bridge which crosses the railway lines to access the new indoor shopping centre Te Awa The Base.
You will find plenty of tar-sealed, well-marked mobility parks to pull into, great width, curb cuts, wide pavements, and best of all flat terrain.
We prefer to reverse into mobility parks because it’s safer to enter and exit using a rear-entry hoist. The closest mobility park to the Changing Place has a signpost that creates a barrier for setting down a rear entry hoist.
Registered Electronic Tag
We just love wheeling up to one of these Changing Place bathrooms and putting our electronic tag against the sensor pad to open the door. No need to stare up at some camera where a stranger looks you up and down to see whether you fit the criteria. Nothing could be easier, no need to search out someone with a key or fumble around for one in a bag. The tag is attached to a lanyard that you simply pull out. We have ours attached to Finlay’s powerchair so it’s always quick to hand. The tag allows you to open every Changing Place built in New Zealand. It gives us freedom and peace of mind knowing that inside these bathrooms, you will find a high standard, designed by a qualified person who understands the function of the room.
“Changing Places create inclusion, for those who up till now have been excluded” Jenn Hooper MNZM Founder of CPNZTweet
Inside the Changing Place
After placing your electronic tag on the sensor pad at any Changing Place, it allows you to push the button to open the automatic sliding door. This room will reveal a compact well designed public bathroom. Smaller than the one located at the Hamilton Gardens but just as functional, with another beautifully themed artwork spanning the walls.
The room is fresh and clean, with the same high specification throughout that we have become accustomed to seeing in these rooms. Even that incredible height-adjustable toilet has made it in here again with the standard privacy screen around it to respect each other’s privacy. Bins are everywhere, along with soap, hand dryers plus well-marked out hooks to hang items on. Well located shelving to store personal care items on. A mirror that is accessible from seating, along with a handbasin including handgrips and an easy-to-use lever tap. I could really see this bathroom in my own home … it’s perfect!
Again, young Charley who inspired her mother to design and build a nationwide network of Changing Places is part of the mural pictured waiting at the bus stop. The bag on the hook looks so realistic that no doubt it will fool a few people on their visit.
You will find heating for this room above the height-adjustable change bed and a towel rail or grab rail right at the end of the bed. The standard handheld shower comes away easily and the mixer turns in such as way that no one can get scolded. Electrics are all carefully covered for the safety of all.
This Changing Place is in collaboration with the Exeloo Public Toilets, the innovative self-washing design that has all the Councils raving.
Comparing Changing Places to Other Builds
After I’d popped in here for a visit I decided to head over to the new Te Awa, The Base shopping centre to check out a ‘Space To Change’ that I’d read about. Firstly, I needed to find out where it was, Malls are massive and busy so it’s imperative that signage follows a simple accessible route. Let’s face it often people who need these rooms have to be able to find them fast. My experience here ended up being quite a comparison, so I thought it warranted another blog post.
Look forward to posting ‘my comparison’ piece very soon!
If we let standards slip, or allow these rooms to become multi-purpose, we will certainly lose the functional design they were built for.Grab Your Wheels, Let’s Travel