Amendments to Statement of Proposal on the future Central Library

21 July 2020

Today Wellington Mayor Andy Foster and Councillors voted on a number of amendments on the proposed Statement of Proposal on the future of the Central Library

Image of central library frontage

“Wellington is facing a number of significant challenges but also exciting opportunities to invest in the long term future of the city. This includes our Central Library service, which is why I want the fullest public consultation possible,” says Mayor Foster.

“The Council’s preferred option is to remediate the building to a highly resilient level, which would see the Central Library serve our communities for least the next 50 to 60 years, and reduce the risk of further disruptions which frustrate everyone if we were only to partially remediate the building.

“Today’s debates focused on a number of amendments and views. Councillors were free to express their views, which they did. My objectives going into today’s meeting were to ensure we approached the discussion and consultation with an open mind and arrived at an agreement to launch the public engagement and consultation process.

“The final Statement of Proposal will be released next Monday 27 July and kick off a six-week consultation process. I encourage everyone to read about the options and get involved with the consultation events,” says Mayor Foster.

“Knowing how vital the Central Library service is, I am pleased how quickly we moved to set up three interim CBD branches,” says Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, Portfolio Leader Libraries. “Te Awe Library in Brandon Street opened last week and is receiving great feedback from people using it.

“These three libraries are ensuring people can continue to connect, and access our services in the CBD, until we can make decisions about Central Library. Over the coming weeks there will be a series events to join, and conversation to take part in, so come along, share your views and tell us what is most important to you about our Central Library.”

The preferred Option C proposes remediating the building to the highest level, including base-isolation. Option C would provide the highest level of safety for people using the building during, and immediately following, a significant earthquake, and reduce the likelihood of significant, costly repairs after an earthquake, or additional strengthening to meet building regulation changes. 

Under the Statement of Proposal the Council has to provide all practicable options for the public to consider, along with any options that were discarded. The public can recommended any of the options provided in the Statement of Proposal, including those ones which were discarded.

“The Council and our community need to weigh up cost, speed of delivery and level of resilience. No option can deliver all of those, so there will need to be trade-offs that our community has to consider and, give us their views so to inform the final decision in October,” said Mayor Foster.

Public consultation and engagement will run between Monday 27 July and Monday 7 September. Next Monday we will launch a consultation webpage for people to find information, ask questions, sign-up to receive regular updates, and find out how to share their views.  We will also hold Speaker Events, Planning for Growth Tiny House pop-up information kiosk, and Library branch events from mid-August. More details will be available at www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library from Monday 27 July.  

Timelines

27 July – 7 September 2020: Public consultation and engagement

22 September:                        Oral hearings

27 October:                             Council decision on option to go into Long-term Plan

October – March 2021:           Detailed engineering and architectural design work on preferred option begins using funding allocated in the 2020-2021 Annual Plan.   

March – April 2021:                 Long-term Plan consultation

June 2021:                              Long-term plan confirmed including final decision on the future Central Library

                                                Tender process for work to begin on preferred option.