A media release from the council follows below. Getting a proper library for Waikanae, and within a reasonably short timeframe, is the unanimous Number One Priority of all the Waikanae Community Board members and Ward Councilor Jocelyn Prvanov, All five met today with council staffers and Boffa Miskell people to go through general and specific issues relating to it, and the town centre which it is a fundamental part of. The library is seen as the town centre hub, and these days public libraries are about a lot more than just books.
Investigations into future building options for Waikanae Library are underway with the Kāpiti Coast District Council set to begin exploring a range of options which may include potential refurbishment of the original library site, as well as exploration of possible alternative sites.
Waikanae Library building was declared uninhabitable in November 2018 due to toxic mould in the building’s structure. This led to the relocation of library ‘pop-up’ services to its current, smaller location in Mahara Place.
“The Waikanae community has been very supportive of our ‘pop-up’ library and customer services over the past 14 months, but we know they’d like to see progress on a permanent solution for this important and valued facility,” says James Jefferson, Group Manager Place and Space.
“This project will explore in detail all available options, the pros and cons of each, and the associated costs to ensure we are making informed and considered decisions.
“At the same time, our Libraries team is working on a holistic library strategy review to understand the needs of the Kāpiti community so future library services and resources can be shaped to best meet those needs. You’ll be hearing more on this and how you can be involved in the coming months.”
The Waikanae Community Board was briefed this afternoon and a representative Waikanae Library Project Advisory Group which will include the voice and perspective of business, youth, older people and iwi will be set up to support the project going forward.
Preferred options will be consulted on with the community before being presented to the Community Board in the next few months for endorsement. A recommendation will then go to Council for a decision mid-year.
“Our priority is to go in with an open mind and ensure we have a good understanding of the options and how they will meet the needs of the community now and in the future. We look forward to sharing this with the wider community shortly,” says Mr Jefferson.