According to a council media release today: 

The Kapiti Coast District Council is advising customers that the Waikanae Library will be closed for the foreseeable future, as the toxic mould is more widespread than initially thought.

Group Manager Regulatory Services Natasha Tod says that the Waikanae Library air quality testing was carried out to assess whether leaks and water damage in the library building posed a risk to the health and safety of staff and customers. Two concerning types of mould were found to be present on both levels of the building, which are common in water-damaged areas, and there are leaks and water damage in the Library.

“Expert contractors have been onsite this week and the level of toxic mould in the building is more widespread than they first anticipated. This means that it’s not an easy fix, so the Library will remain closed for the foreseeable future while we gather more information to help inform next steps. We know this isn’t ideal but the health and wellbeing of our staff and our community is our priority.”

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This isn’t a surprise given the revelation by Graeme Joyes of Access Radio that it is a leaky building.

So where to now? 

  • Fix the problems in the existing building whatever the cost, or only if the cost isn’t great?
  • Move it to different premises?  Apparently the former Waikanae Funeral Home building at the corner of Omahi and Kapanui Road is still available.
  • Advance the proposal for a completely new building?
  • or…
  • Do nothing and have no Waikanae branch library?  Unlike a new Mahara Gallery, it would not attract any new visitors to the town centre. It would be great if people generally read books in their spare time instead of small screens, but fewer and fewer people are. All late teens and twenty-somethings seem to want to do nowadays is spend $1,000 a year on their new smartphone model and send trivial messages to each other on social media; older people are content with Netflix and the like. Paraparaumu library, which has a big choice, is only 7 km away.

These are the considerations that need to be talked about by Waikanae people; the options should be presented to them for decision in a referendum.