Experts tell KCDC it must do a better job of looking after its assets

The former Waikanae Library, closed late last year after the discovery of toxic mould in the building and the books

Experts have told the Kāpiti Coast Council it must do a much better job of looking after assets like its libraries.

A report into the closure of the Waikanae Library, commissioned by the Kāpiti Council, has been tabled for the 8 August Council meeting.

Toxic stachybotrys mould similar to that found in the Waikanae Library

Toxic mould discoveries

The Morrison Low report investigated why the Council had to close the Waikanae Library indefinitely in late 2018 following air quality tests showing toxic mould.

Immediate improvements wanted

The report recommends immediate improvements to strengthen asset management, and says greater emphasis shoud be placed on risk when making investment decisions.

James Jefferson, Group Manager Place and Space says work is already underway to address many of the recommendations in the Morrison Low report.

Council ‘100% committed’to do better

“We asked for this report so we can prevent anything like this happening again and we are 100 per cent committed to acting on the findings highlighted in the report as quickly as possible. We’ve already taken positive steps to turn the situation around.”

The report highlights the need to better link up Council reporting systems and make all the information the Council holds about its property portfolio available in one place to enable better informed decision making.

“The Council holds a lot of data and institutional knowledge about the condition of the buildings it owns and manages,” Mr Jefferson said.

“We know we’ve got some work to do to make sure we join all the dots and use all the information available to us to make informed investment decisions. Where there are gaps in our information we’ll look to fill those gaps as quickly as possible.

“We’re also taking a look at our decision making processes to make sure we take a 360-degree view and put people’s safety and wellbeing at the centre of these discussions.

Does the report tell us why the Council took so long to do something about the leak in the Waikanae Library ? I understand the leak was discovered about 8 years ago.

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