New Waikanae Library Ahead — $14 million Set Aside

Jeremy Smith reports the process to give Waikanae a new library to replace it’s mould-ruined former Library has started. And a total of $13.8 million will be set aside over the next four years.

The money is designated under the Kapiti District Council’s long–term plans not just for a renewed library and service centre but as an anchor project for Mahara Place.

The former Waikanae Library, closed after the discovery of toxic mould in the building and the book stocks

The library project is up for discussion before the KCDC adopts its long-term plan in June.  The public has until May 10 to make submissions about what the future library should be.

Since 2019 the Waikanae library has been in a temporary premises formerly occupied by
the Artel shop, which relocated to Otaki.

Interior of the temporary library

The original library was closed in November 2018 with the discovery of dangerous toxic mould.

 More than 20,000 books had to be decontaminated with complaints about the leaky
building dating back 16 years.

After the library closure a report by management consultants Morrison Low said council managers had failed to act on staff concerns about the state of the library building.

Renewals were regularly deferred and the building was nursed along to keep it running.

The Morrison Low report also said the council should look at its management practices
and urgently review its pensioner housing and community buildings.

Since then the KCDC has announced the closure of Paraparaumu’s Te Newhanga centre because of toxic mould.

When KIN visited the library in Mahara Place it was busy. The librarians noted the large number of reserve books waiting to be picked, partly because of the lack of space for
normal book display.

Waikanae — a popular temporary library, with great librarians, good books, but not enough space
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