Toxic Mould Closes Waikanae Library

The Kapiti Coast Council has closed the Waikanae Library and Service Centre because of  toxic mould.

It says this is a precaution, following air quality test results showing the presence of the mould.

Readers sent elsewhere

Due to the closure, customer and library services aren’t available from Waikanae Library, and customers are advised to go online or visit the Paraparaumu and/or Otaki Library.

Group Manager Regulatory Services Natasha Tod says the closure isn’t an ideal situation, but ‘we take seriously any potential risk to the health of our staff and customers.’

Typical stachybotrys mould in a building (not the Waikanae Library)

“We recently carried out air quality testing at the Waikanae Library and the results show that two types of mould that are of concern.

“One  is non-toxic but has the potential to cause hay fever-like symptoms, and the other is toxic (Stachybotrys). The toxic mould was present in three of the four sites sampled within the building.”

Closed until mould is dealt with

“As a precaution, we’ve closed the Waikanae Library this morning, and it will remain closed until we’re confident the toxic mould has been addressed.”

“At this stage, it appears that the library will be closed for 1-2 weeks for maintenance and testing, but we’ll let customers know more when we have a solid timeline.”

What is stachybotrys

Stachybotrys (/ˌstækiˈbɒtrɪs/) is a genus of moldshyphomycetes or asexually reproducing, filamentous fungi, now placed in the family Stachybotryaceae. Historically, it was considered closely related to the genus Memnoniella,[1][2] because the spores are produced in slimy heads rather than in dry chains. Recently, the synonymy of the two genera is generally accepted.[3] Most Stachybotrys species inhabit materials rich in cellulose.

In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould


Council concerns

 The KCDC adds: “We know the services we provide from the library are valuable to our Waikanae customers and we’re focused on reopening as soon as we can.

“In the meantime, library and customer services are available online at and in Paraparaumu and Ōtaki, and we’re looking at whether we can continue providing some services in Waikanae during this time.”

“We know this isn’t an ideal situation, and we’re doing everything we can to fix the situation as quickly as possible.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding.”

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