Naming of Wellington’s newest CBD library caps off busy year for city library services

20 December 2019

Wellington’s third CBD library has been gifted the name Te Awe (meaning white feathers or plumes) which caps off an eventful but productive year for the city’s library service.

Artist impression of new CBD library
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Mayor Andy Foster says 2019 was extremely busy for staff with the closure of the Central Library building, the opening of two new central city libraries and the Johnsonville Library at Waitohi, and the design and planning of Te Awe Library in Brandon Street. The new collection and distribution centre, which has been named Te Pātaka – a storehouse, is also under construction in Johnsonville and will house the Central Library’s collection of over 400,000 items.

“I’m proud of the many major milestones we have achieved in only nine months since the Central Library closure in March. As well as opening three new libraries, staff have delivered the popular ComicFest and Beyond the Page events, held the Kanopy Film Festival and expanded the digital collections that members can access.

“A new artwork and hoarding has been installed around the Central Library as we begin to look at options for the future of central city library services. This is part of Council’s Te Ngākau programme where staff are considering the future development of the Civic Precinct as a whole, including the Central Library building.” Council staff will be reporting to the Mayor and Councillors on this in March 2020.

“We know that libraries play a key role in the social infrastructure of our communities. They’re crucial to our city both in terms of providing access to a range of collections and programmes which inform, entertain and educate, but also in providing our communities a place to meet, talk and grow.”

Community facilities portfolio leader Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says Te Awe Library is planned to open by May 2020, which will give contractors time to fit out the space. “We’re working closely with our architects to ensure the design makes best use of the space available and is fit for purpose as the largest new CBD library. The building has undergone significant structural strengthening and the new library space is currently a blank canvas so the fit-out will take some months to complete.”

Councillor Fitzsimons says work on Te Pātaka is also well underway and staff expect to begin relocating items in the Central Library collection as soon as February next year. Items may become available to library members to request as early as April 2020 by which time most items will have been relocated.

More information

-       Timeline for Wellington Central Library Replacement Services

-       Te Awe refers to white feathers or plumes and has an important cultural tohu for ngā tāngata of Taranaki/Te Atiawa.

-       Te Awe Library is on track to open by May and will be the largest of Council’s three central city branches to be developed at around 1400 square metres across a ground and a mezzanine level. It will hold around 20,000 items.

-       A partnership with the Council and building owners Cornerstone Partners has made the central location possible.

-       Te Pātaka is a 2000 square metre, two storey site at 141 Johnsonville Road which will house the Central Library’s collection of 400,000 items and manage distribution of collections across the network.

-       The Council will use the old Johnsonville Library building as an interim extra warehouse facility, now the Johnsonville Library at Waitohi has opened.

-       Council’s Te Ngākau Programme

-       Central Library closure