(media release)

The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s vision for Mahara Place to be the vibrant heart of the Waikanae Town Centre is shaping up with a detailed assessment of site options for the new Waikanae Library and Service Centre well underway.

Mike Mendonca, Acting Group Manager Place & Space, says Councillors have been briefed on the investigation of potential locations options for the new library hub and how the site could affect how the town centre could develop into the future.

“Where and how we develop a library and service centre hub will make a key contribution to the vitality of the centre. The new Councillors and Waikanae Community Board members will consider recommendations and then invite community feedback on the services the new library might offer, a preferred location for it, and on a draft framework plan for the town centre.”

Mr Mendonca said the investigation of a suitable site needs to be thorough. “We’re taking into account functionality, cost, constructability, and all our previous engagement with the Waikanae community.

“We know how much residents value libraries and we want to create a modern, multi-purpose hub in our Waikanae town centre that will meet the needs of our growing community.

“Council has just purchased the building housing our interim (pop-up) library and service centre. This means we can consider this site, along with other options, for the location of the new library hub. The purchase also provides security of tenure, meaning the interim library and service centre can remain where they are for now.”

Development of the library and service centre is one of the major community initiatives in the 2021-41 Long-term Plan, with $13.8m budgeted for the project.

Following an update to the new Council and Community Board early in the new year, we will engage the community and seek their input into draft recommendations.

After decisions have been made about the location and scope of the facility, the design process will begin. Design will be carried out in stages, from an initial concept through to detailed design, with more opportunities along the way for community input.

Wasn’t this being looked at by the focus group 2 years ago?  Or was that just intended to make it look like something was happening but wasn’t going to go any further?  —Eds