Can I submit another idea, or one which was discarded in the Statement of Proposal?

    Yes, you can. 

    1. When you fill out the Submission Form go to the question "There are several different options to deliver a functional Central Library building. Which of these is your preferred option?
    2. Tick the option “None of the above, I prefer an alternative” 
    3. Select one of the options in the following question, or write down your own idea.

    Is base isolation and the removal of the existing building included in the costs for Options D and E (new builds)?

    The new build estimates do not include base isolation as the desired level of building resilience can be achieved in a new build without it.  However if the decision was made to base isolate a new building the additional cost would not be significant.

    The cost estimates for the new build option do include estimated demolition and removal costs.

    Responses to questions from Inner City Wellington

    On 4 August 2020, Inner City Wellington - who represent residents, organisations and property owners in Wellington central and Te Aro - emailed Council with a number of questions regarding the Statement of Proposal. You can read the questions and our responses in this letter.

    Why does it cost more to fix the building than build a new one?

    Before we can begin strengthening the existing building, the existing fit-out needs to be removed. Depending on the level of strengthening, temporary work may be needed to support the building while the strengthening work is carried out. This adds to the cost and time – essentially we go backwards a bit before we can go forward. However, this will all be tested and understood better as the design progresses.

    Who can I talk to if I have questions about the consultation?

    You have a number of choices - you can:

    We are also running a number of events in our libraries and around Wellington over the coming six weeks. We will advertise these through our Wellington City Council channels, or you can register for updates online at

    Will all the books go back into a Central Library?

    We expect to return a large proportion of the collection to our future Central Library. We will also consider how the new Collection and Distribution Centre may house low use or multiple items. While they are an important part of the wider Wellington City Libraries’ collection they may not need to be as accessible from a Central Library. This would also provide more spaces in the future Central Library including housing and displaying rare and special collections in more suitable and engaging ways.

    Why did we close the Central Library?

    New guidelines for concrete buildings, which were developed by the engineering community and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) found the Central Library structure and floor system design posed a high level of potential failure in a significant earthquake, and met 15-20 percent of the New Building Standard. On that basis, the Council’s Chief Executive closed the building to the public on 19 March 2019.

    How does the Council know the latest cost assessments are correct?

    As the estimates are based on high level concept designs there is potential for change. We will know more about the costs as the planning for the project progresses.

    When can we expect a Central Library building to open?

    We have provided indicative timeframes for each option in the Statement of Proposal. These are based on an assessment of the time needed for design, resource consent, and construction stages of the project. The timeframes also provide for potential delays in resolving heritage or other site issues.

    What are the options being proposed?

    The Statement of Proposal outlines five options for retaining a central library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

    ·Option A - Low-level remediation

    ·Option B - Mid-level remediation

    ·Option C - High-level remediation (preferred option)

    ·Option D - New build on same site

    ·Option E - New build on another Te Ngākau Civic Precinct site

    The Statement of Proposal also includes options which were discarded, with the reasons why.

    Why is there a preferred option included?

    Under the Local Government Act, we must select a preferred option in the Statement of Proposal.

    Why has the Council put forward Option C as the preferred option?

    Council recommends remediating the building to the highest level, including base isolation. A high-level remediation option would provide the highest level of safety for people using the building during, and immediately following, a significant earthquake. It would also see the services and building reopen faster after an earthquake, and reduce the likelihood of significant, costly repairs. It would lessen the need for additional strengthening to meet changes in building regulations.

    How were the five proposed options decided and others discarded?

    Each of the options were assessed against a range of factors. They included the building's resilience and safety; how it could support a modern library service over the next 50 or more years; the costs and timeframes; how it connects and enlivens Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and how it may affect the environment. Learn more about this process on pages 14 - 17 and 28 -29 in the Statement of Proposal.

    Why does the proposal suggest modernising the library?

    While the priority is on re-establishing a Central Library, we also are responsible for ensuring the new service can meet the needs of Wellington’s future generations. While providing access to books and other physical and digital collections will continue to be a core service, we can also offer people access new technologies, spaces and services which support life-long learning, connection and community.

    Why do the building services (air-conditioning, lifts, heating) need to be replaced?

    Most of services are at, or near their end-of-life as they were installed when the Central Library was built in 1991. It is more cost-effective and provides better environmental efficiencies to replace them as part of the remediation.

    What’s the plan for the rest of Te Ngākau Civic Precinct?

    We are currently committed to a number of projects, such as strengthening the Town Hall and the National Music Centre. We are also setting up a planning process to create a masterplan or framework for the wider Precinct. This will ensure any future enhancements or projects deliver on the vision of a resilient, lively, and distinct heart of the city for future generations.

    Who can I talk to if I have questions about the consultation?

     We have a number of options. You can email the team on or ask a question on our webpage: 

    We are also running a number of events in our libraries and around Wellington over the coming six weeks. We will advertise these through our Wellington City Council channels, or you can register for updates at

    How can I share my views?

    Fill out the online submission at 

    Or download and print the PDF version and post it into the Council for free.

    We would like to know what option you prefer, and what factors you valued most in making your decision. Or you can provide an alternative option.

    You have until 5pm, Monday 7 September to share your views with us.

    What about parking, will the Harris Street carpark reopen at the same time?

    We don’t yet know as we need to consider how future developments and climate changes may affect the basement and carpark area. This will be considered as a part of the Te Ngākau Civic Precinct planning work.

    Why would Capital E go in the Library?

    From ongoing discussions with Experience Wellington there is a strong desire for Capital E to return to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and the opportunity to collocate in a Central Library building is possible in principle. There are synergies between the service provided both, particularly shared and aligned programming for young children their caregivers and teachers, school visits and workshops, or activities that cater to learning through creativity and play for children. 

    Capital E is Experience Wellington’s principal provider for children and young people. Capital E ignites and fuels children and young people’s creative spark, responding to the need for our youngest citizens to be creative, curious and connected. Their vision is to make growing up in the capital full of opportunities to play and create; and they aspire to be Aotearoa New Zealand’s National Centre for Young Creatives, working with and through partners to maximize mutual reach and impact for this audience.