Strengthening Te Matapihi | Central Library

Learn more about how the decision to strengthen and modernise Te Matapihi was made, and the plans for how and when we will do this.


February 2022

The second stage of preparing Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui for strengthening is underway. The first stage involved removing all fixtures and fitting which we completed in December 2021.

This second phase is removing services (air-conditioning, lighting and so on, many of which were due to be replaced) and interior walls from roof down the five floors and basement.

Where possible, our supplier Ceres will recycle items to reduce the amount of material going into the landfill.

The team will work between 7.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, until August 2022.

What you’ll see

In the first two weeks Ceres will set up a site office and extend the hoardings over the footpaths on Victoria and Harris Street outside the library, including the ramp into Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

This does not affect the stairs to the City Gallery and Nikau Café and the pedestrian entrance into Te Ngākau Civic Precinct from Victoria Street (between Te Matapihi and Civic Administration Building) which will remain open.

Trucks will be going in and out from two entrances on Victoria Street, so if you’re driving take care and follow the Stop/Go signs.

What’s next

As well as strengthening the library we’re taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernise Te Matapihi and set it up to serve our growing city. As well as extending levels three and four, people will be able to connect with the libraries’ collection and services alongside City Archives, the Council Service Centre, and Capital E.

We are currently working with these groups on the best way to design the interior around the strengthening beams. We will share these plans towards June 2022.

The foundational strengthening works is planned to start late in 2022 dependent on the Resource Consent process. We’ll share more detail closer to the time.

September 2021: We are packing up

April 2020: 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

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

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: 

Contact us

Contact our Library team directly via or 04 801 4040.