Friday 13 September
Wellington to have third new central city library
Artist impression of Brandon Street Library
Wellington is to have a third new central city library, this time in the Harbour City Centre on Brandon Street.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the Wellington City Council has finalised a partnership with building owners
Cornerstone Partners making the central location possible, and expects the new library to open early next year.
The Mayor says the library will be the largest of the Council’s three CBD branches, to be developed at around 1400
square metres across a ground and a mezzanine level. A privately operated café will operate on the ground floor next to
Careful planning is underway to make best use of the space for study, relaxation and access to collections and services
he says. “This fantastic location has given the Council an opportunity to develop another fresh and innovative space for
Wellingtonians to learn, relax and be inspired.”
Community facilities portfolio leader Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says the planned Brandon Street library will complete
the new CBD library network, along with Arapaki Manners Library, and He Matapihi Molesworth Library, which is due to
open in October.
Councillor Fitzsimons says she’s delighted that the new library will focus on children and families, with a dedicated
space for a children’s collection, a parents’ room, and the very popular Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions. “We’re looking
forward to bringing programming for children and families back into the central city as the space will give us the
ability to hold regular and one-off events.”
The new library’s wide-ranging collection will have around 20,000 items, almost tripling the number of items on offer to
members in the CBD library network, adds Councillor Fitzsimons.
New collection and distribution centre
The Council has also found a home for Wellington Central Library’s collection of 400,000 items in Johnsonville. The
Mayor says the Council is leasing a 2000 square metre, two storey site at 141 Johnsonville Road, and will begin
development on a new collection and distribution centre.
He says finding the right site marks a key milestone to making items in the Central Library collection accessible again
after the closure of the Central Library building earlier this year. It will give Wellington City Libraries Te Matapihi
Ki Te Ao Nui a new centre to manage the entire network’s collection – a function previously provided by the Central
“We’re extremely pleased with this location. It’s been a challenge to locate a safe and suitable space in Wellington
which is large enough and ticks all the boxes. This site has excellent access to major transport routes and the building
is structurally strong enough to house the collection, with the correct climatic conditions.”
The Council will use the present Johnsonville Library building as an interim extra warehouse facility once the new
Waitohi Library opens in December. The Mayor says more decisions have yet to be made around the new operating model,
“but we’re happy to be in a position to now move ahead.”
Work to get the site ready is expected to take several months, and items will be available to library members to request
after the collection has been relocated.
In the meantime, Wellingtonians will see over 30,000 items across the CBD library network become available in the next
• Arapaki Manners Library has a collection of 8,000 accessible items.
• He Matapihi Molesworth Library, due to open in October, will add around 5,000 items.
• The new Brandon Street library will add another 20,000 items when it opens.
• Wellington’s 11 branch libraries presently hold around 250,000 items which library members can access.
Further information on the new Brandon Street library
• Once completed, the new library is expected to be open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.30am to 5pm
and have a 24/7 book returns facility.
• Items in the collection will include fiction, non-fiction, audio-visual and world languages collections.
• The new library will have dedicated zones with a variety of seating and spaces for quiet or collaborative work.
• Popular programmes like Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme and pre-school story time are planned to be offered along with other
events which could include book clubs and author talks, free movie screenings, creative projects and activities.
• Customers will have access to the library catalogue and website, and a full range of self service options with staff
on hand to help.
• Public computers, printing and photocopying facilities will be available with free Wi-Fi.