Te Aka rendering, Hastings Street view

Napier City Council has approved the preliminary design of Te Aka, a flagship Napier City Council project which will result in a new library, governance and community space for Ahuriri/Napier.

The new building and outdoor space will be in the block bounded by Hastings, Station and Dalton Streets. The council has set aside $55 million for the whole development with a goal to start construction towards the end of the 2024/25 financial year. 

On February 1, the council carried a motion to endorse the preliminary design and proceed to the next stage, which will lead to detailed design as the council moved towards the resource and building consent process and ultimately the construction of Te Aka.

Council’s strategic programmes manager Darran Gillies said the next stage was all about adding more detail to what was already done.

He said it was akin to focusing the lens of a camera to the minutia of an object.

“The preliminary design stage takes the architectural concept design and refinement of the proportions of the building and interior planning of the spaces,” he said.

“The structural engineering system and building services are integrated and the exterior landscape spaces have been planned and developed to respond to the building and wider precinct. Sustainability initiatives and cultural interpretation and integration will also be important considerations during these design phases.”

He said there had been no change to the costings so far.

Te Aka rendering Station Street view

Deputy Mayor Annette Brosnan, who has been a “big supporter” of the project said she was really proud of the progress made to date.

“I am excited to see plans for the new library continuing to unfold. This will be an amazing asset for our whole community, not just library customers,” she said.

“Modern libraries are more than just places for books. Napier’s library will be a space for community groups to meet and share ideas. There will be room for artists and craft makers, such as woodworkers, sewing groups and so much more. The contribution from our design partners means the building and surrounding outdoor space will be a true reflection of Napier, what is unique about our place and people, and the stories that are important to us.”

She said it was an investment back in the community and she looked forward to seeing the vision turn into reality.

For Te Aka a cultural narrative was developed in partnership with mana whenua, and it has been woven through the concept design and highlights opportunities for mahi toi (creative and artistic workmanship).

Mana Whenua have been engaged with the project since the master planning stage. Working with Te Waka Rangapū and with Mana Whenua, the role of a Mana Whenua Design Lead was created to support the success of the co-design process.

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


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  1. It looks lovely, a great tourist attraction?
    New buildings which serve the people of Napier and surrounding areas, should be built, such as the library, in a place more central to the community, perhaps Onekawa pools area.
    Building this in the city comes with parking problems in an already congested area. Forward thinking of the money spent, the value of what is housed in it, the location, and the risk of Tsunami wiping it out, should now always be factored in.
    We have to start planning Napier in a Council monetary survival mode, no government is going to front up with the extra cash to replace the same in the same location, hence the yearly insurance increases will be extreme for the rate payers of Napier.
    Napier is a tourist attraction, but I think it is unfair rate payers pay for the “Wow factor”, with ongoing rising costs associated with each new council owned build, Homeowners and renters are already having to pay huge increases due to insurance costs. One library for Napier is all we need, in a safer place than planned, our Rates money, but it Rates low in well spent money planning.

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