Te Matapihi | Central Library

Learn more about how the decision to strengthen and modernise Te Matapihi was made, and follow the progress of the project.


20 December 2022: Te Matapihi getting ready for reconstruction

LT McGuinness is on-site at Te Matapihi - Central Library and in full swing with enabling and strengthening works making the building ready for reconstruction. Read more in Our Wellington about Te Matapihi Central Library getting ready for reconstruction.

15 December 2022: Te Matapihi funding approved for design

On 15 December 2022, the Council resolved to increase the Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui budget by $12 million for design, delivering integrated Central Library, City Archives, Customer Service Centre and Experience Wellington’s Capital E services, and celebrating Pōneke’s unique cultural identity.

This will meet new legislative requirements and address the implementation of Council committee resolutions from 2021.

In 2020, Council decided on the required seismic strengthening of the original Te Matapihi building and reconstruction. The initial budget approved for this work was $178.7 million. In April 2021, the Council approved a further $8.5 million to extend levels 3 and 4 and $1.9 million to progress sustainability initiatives to achieve a 5 Green Star design rating. These three amounts are the baseline budget for construction works.

In April 2021, the Council established new guiding design principles directing the future of the Te Matapihi project. This design defined a future visitor experience of Pōneke’s unique cultural identity and integrated services, including City Archives, Customer Service Centre and Experience Wellington’s Capital E.

The additional funding provision of $12 million for the Te Matapihi project addresses these required elements and legislative requirements supporting new and exciting public services at the heart of our inner-city centre for everyone to enjoy.

The extra funding includes:

  • $6.5 million for cultural identity, including 13 cultural and art elements and entranceway design.
  • $500, 000 for a legislation change MBIE has introduced that Council must adhere to and the costs associated.
  • $5 million for integrated services and spaces, providing an enhanced visitor experience all in one place.

September 2022: Contract signed for start of main construction work

August 2022: Ready for main reconstruction works after strip out complete

April 2022: Artist impressions of the preliminary design

February 2022: The second stage of preparing for strengthening

September 2021: We are packing up

April 2021: Design principles to guide the Central Library announced

October 2020: Council decision on future on the Central Library

Restoring Wellington’s Central library service

Options for the future of the Central Library

Earlier updates on Central Library

About the closure

Details about the closure
Wellington Central Library closure map (768KB PDF)

Accessing library collection, services and facilities

While Te Matapihi is being restored you can visit any of the three interim library branches in the city centre: Te Awe (Brandon Street), Arapaki (Manners Street) and He Matapihi Molesworth (Molesworth Street).

You can also reserves items from the library collection to pick up from the branch of your choice.

For more information, visit the Wellington City Libraries website.

Citizens Advice Bureau

These services are available at the James Smith Building on the corner of Manners Street and Cuba. Opening hours and more information are available at cab.org.nz

Justice of the Peace (JP) service desk

The JP service desk is now at Te Awe library (by the Panama Street entrance). Please check the JPFed website for times.

Find a JP in your suburb: justiceofthepeace.org.nz 

Contact us

Contact our Library team directly via enquiries@wcl.govt.nz or 04 801 4040.