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Strong community support for new library in Napier

Published: 11 November 2021

Civic Library Consult 2

Napier residents want a new library and have made this clear to Napier City Council. The importance of having a fit for purpose library building was the most common reason given in support of Napier City Council’s Library and Civic Area Plan.

Consultation on the Plan closed in October, with 101 people submitting their thoughts on what Napier needs in its new library and civic area, which is the block bound by Station Street, Dalton Street and Hastings Street. The consultation asked people whether they supported the plan as a whole, with 80% answering yes to this question.

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise says it is heartening to see strong support for regenerating the area and developing a new library.

“The community has backed us to get on with it. They want us to develop a new library, and we agree with them.”

Submitters strongly supported the library (86%) being included in stage one development of the site. Inclusion of Council customer services and the cultural/community hub also received good support with 43% and 45% respectively. Around 25% of people provided a response to the library question and didn’t respond to the other questions, indicating that the main priority for many people is a new library.

The Library and Civic Area Plan concentrates on what sort of spaces and buildings should be on the site and will inform future detailed design work. Council will take a financially responsible approach by developing the area in stages. The focus of the project’s first phase is the library, the Council customer service centre and a governance space. Offices for Council staff will come in a later phase.

“We have a rare opportunity to design a space that is a collective expression of us all and our aspirations as citizens of Napier,” says Mayor Wise.

“My hope is that the new library and civic area will stimulate new economic activity in this area of the CBD and encourage growth in new businesses.”

“Thank you to everyone who made a submission. Public input is vital to ensure this once in a generation opportunity best meets the needs of Napier residents. I’m looking forward to seeing the next phase of the project develop,” says Mayor Wise.

Council will consider the community’s feedback, with a view to adopting the plan in December.

The next steps for the project will be demolishing the old Civic building in 2022, and developing a business case for the detailed design phase. $55 million has been set aside for the whole development, with a goal to start construction in 2024/25.

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