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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: we're now deciding if we should sell some of this land.

Napier City Council has moved

Site Map 300 x 300Our two council buildings - the Civic Administration Building and Library Building - have been assessed as earthquake-prone.  They're no longer acceptable as public buildings.  We need to make a plan for the future!

Our planning shows that all Napier City Council civic activity including the Library can fit on Site B.

Our proposal is to allow Site A (where the Civic Administration Building now sits) to be used commercial use as we no longer need this space for council purposes.

Submissions to the Statement of Proposal have now closed.

View the Statement of Proposal.

View Civic Site Optimisation Business Case.

Napier Library project update

The new Napier Library is growing closer to becoming a reality with due diligence on the top three sites having been completed. A report on the options for the Napier Library is expected to go before Council in early 2020, for more information click here.

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 now so it was done 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.

Why did the library move?

The Library Building was assessed for seismic strength by an independent, qualified consultancy called Strata Group. The building was found to be 15% of New Building Standards (NBS). This is very low, and could pose a potential risk to visitors and staff in the event of a large earthquake. The widely accepted standard for NBS is a minimum of 67%. Napier City Council is committed to the wellbeing of our staff and our community and has moved the facility until the building can be strengthened to an acceptable level.

Where has it moved to?

The rear of the MTG building on Herschell Street.

Who did you consult before making this decision?

We worked through the options with Councillors, Library and MTG staff, the Friends of the Napier Library group, and other community groups. The reality is that we had to move, there are very few appropriate CBD buildings available  – we had to get on and do it for the safety and peace of mind of our staff and library users.

How do I get in to the new site? 

The main access way will be via the Louis Hay doors on Herschell Street. Wheelchair and pushchair access will be through the MTG foyer.

How long will the Station Street Library close for?

We don’t know yet. We anticipate it will be closed for at least two years.

I saw that the library might move altogether to Clive Square? 

We're developing a Library Strategy which will assess how a modern library should look, how it should perform, what it might house in terms of books, resources, and technology, as well as where it might be. Station Street might not be the best location for our permanent city library so we will investigate a number of options. However, we might find that Station Street is the best location, in which case the library will return once the building is seismically strengthened.

How do I know the temporary location is seismically safe?

The MTG has been assessed and is seismically sound at 67% NBS.

Won't the temporary space be too small?

The temporary (MTG) space is 550m3 and smaller than our current space. However, it is only temporary and we are working through how we will deliver all our current services – and maybe even some new ones – from a smaller footprint.

You can't fit all the exhibits in the current MTG space so how can you fit a library? 

All museums retain exhibits that aren’t always on display as well as historical archives, records and stored materials that don’t need to be viewed by or accessed by the public at all times. We currently use a large area of our current MTG space for this purpose – archives and collection storage – while some of these items are stored offsite. It is a better use of public space to store ALL of these exhibits and archives offsite and use this portion of prime CBD real estate for something far more usable – a public library.

Will more services be delivered from Taradale as a result?

We will look to increase the number of book titles available from Taradale and we will continually monitor our level of service there so we can adapt to changes in demand.

Will there be free wifi there?


Will I have to pay to use the library? 

No. Councillors removed the entry fees to MTG effective 2 October 2017 so that our community can seamlessly move between the two spaces without any barrier to entry.

What will happen to the books that don't fit in the temporary library? 

We will have access to retrievable book stock at an offsite location.

How do I have my say on our temporary or future library?

As we develop our Library strategy we will be seek feedback from all our stakeholders to make sure what we do next reflect the needs of the community. We are always happy to receive feedback from our customers and will continue to ask for it! 


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