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Civic and Library BuildingsNgā whare mātoro me ngā whare pukapuka

A report found that NCC's civic building and main library were earthquake-prone. Our workers moved to three temporary locations in late 2017.

Civic Precinct

Since 2017, Council has been investigating various options for office accommodation, governance facilities, and a new Library. In December 2017 Council approved a Statement of Proposal which would have allowed the sale of the Civic site (on the corner of Station and Hastings Streets) for a commercial use. Negotiations with an international hotel provider for the purchase of this site have now closed following a change in circumstances due to Covid-19.

A site selection process for the new Library also concluded, with Council resolving to establish new library facilities on the Station Street site in 2019.

With the civic site and surrounds being the subject of a number of complex decisions and staged delivery. As well as it being a key focus for community use and Council administrative services and governance, a new Civic Precinct Steering Group was established to oversee its vision, options exploration, and design. The first phase in the delivery of this project is the creation of a Civic Precinct Framework. This would set the vision and principles in order to guide the development of the spatial plan for the site and surrounds.

The Principles will ensure decisions made over time are consistent and values-based. To take full advantage of the once in a generation opportunity to create a community hub. One that both serves the needs of our community and is an engaging destination.

The Council has engaged with other organisations including the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Ministry of Justice, to ensure thinking around shared services and facilities, and spatial design considers our neighbours and their needs.

The Civic Precinct is a working title and will likely change through the Masterplan process to one that better encapsulates its community and governance function, and reflects our culture.

The Civic precinct spatial plan for the site and surrounds will be undertaken by a team of urban designers and architects collaborating with council officers.  This work is due for completion in the middle of 2021.

The Framework Vision and Themes are:

  • Destination
  • Connections
  • Inclusive
  • Leadership
  • Activation
The Values and Principles are:
  • Expression or outstanding design that compliments the City
  • Expression of Māori heritage and presence
  • Expression of art
  • Expression of community leadership
  • Establishing a safe and inclusive place for all
  • Physical connectivity, multi-modal transport and arrival requirements
  • Flexible spaces that foster collaboration and cohabitation
  • Enhancing social connection
  • Economic stimulus

Library project

The new Napier Library is growing closer to becoming a reality.

With the library building deemed earthquake prone a plan for the future was needed. Thus work on a Library Strategy was undertaken, which involved much community consultation and was adopted by council in December 2018. The strategic plan had some key focus areas:

  • Enabling access
  • Space for all
  • Knowledge advocacy - such as supporting lifelong learning, literacy and reading
  • Community collaborators - delivering outreach programmes and using our expertise to bring benefits to areas of our community that need it most.
  • Sustainable futures.

Alongside the library strategy, a library site selection matrix was adopted by council to give a robust framework in which to proceed. A long-list of 16 sites were identified as potential options for the library and reports were developed for each which included; site extent, hazards, regulatory requirement, heritage and cultural issues, services and tenure.

In April 2019, the Councillors were presented with the results of site selection matrix and it was recommended to them that we progress with further due diligence on selected sites. Due diligence was completed on the top three site in late 2019.

In March 2020 a report was received by Council on the process, recommendations and decisions made to date on the Council Civic offices, Hotel development, and new Napier Library. One of the recommendations that was adopted was to receive and accept in principle the recommendation from the Library site project steering group to pursue the development of the library on the Station Street site.

The Napier Library Civic Precinct was consulted on as a part of Napier's Annual Plan - View the Annual Plan

This recommends the library returning to Station Street in some form. It recognises that these are once in a lifetime decisions that need careful consideration. So, we’ve established a working group to look at options, costs and master planning of the potential commercial development, Library, and Council buildings.

Civic Buildings  


Civic boundary

Civic Precinct extent and sphere of influence

The Civic Precinct incorporates a number of sites that serve a civic function, as well as nearby buildings and spaces where opportunities for further development and supporting activities reside. Sites that are within the control of Napier City Council (NCC) include the NCC-owned Station Street site, previously occupied by the Council administrative offices, governance facilities and Napier Library, as well as all the streets. Outside of these areas, the interface with other buildings, spaces and activities is important, and consideration needs to be made to how NCC can influence the design and operation of these neighbouring spaces/buildings. 

View the Civic Precinct Framework 

Council administrative services and governance building are now being developed as part of Civic Precinct alongside a new library.

What are the seismic issues with the buildings?

When a building is assessed, an assessor assigns a rating to various points of a building. Under the Building Act, assessors are required to take the lowest rating and assign this to the entire building. This means that while the Civic Building has been rated at 10%, and the Library Building at 15%, not every part of each building carries this level of risk. The risk is calculated against the chance of a 1 in 1000 year earthquake event happening – this is an extremely powerful earthquake.

How were they assessed?

These buildings are two of the first in the country to be assessed using a new technique introduced nationwide at the end of 2016. Seismic reports in 2017 are very different to those undertaken in 2010 prior to the Christchurch earthquake. The rules and requirements have changed since then. We undertook the seismic assessment based on the latest standards. If we upgrade our buildings we want them to be fit for purpose for the next 30 to 50 years and be fully informed for our decision making.


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