Upper Hutt Central Library building closure—FAQ

The below information is based on comments we are monitoring relating to the closure of Upper Hutt’s Central Library building. This FAQ may be edited or updated from time-to-time as new information comes to light.

Why are we only finding out about this now? It’s been ages since the Kaikoura earthquake.

Over the last seven years New Zealand’s significant seismic events have given rise to continued advances in seismic engineering and standards relating to the seismic performance of buildings. Following the Kaikoura earthquake, Council sought a review of prior assessments. The review highlighted the need for more detailed structural assessments. A draft of the detailed assessment was received prior to Christmas 2017 and confirmed in early February 2018.

Can we get a temporary library in a vacant building in the city centre?

The senior management team at Upper Hutt City Libraries is working hard to develop a plan for how to deliver services during this closure. This includes looking at use of the Mobile Library Bus, temporary premises, and use of the Pinehaven Library. There’s a lot of work and infrastructure that goes into providing the services we do, and this is all new information. We will be able to provide more certainty of availability of services in the coming days.

Upper Hutt City Libraries will be issuing updates on its services through its website (upperhuttlibrary.co.nz), Facebook page (/UpperHuttCityLibrary), and Twitter feed (/uhlibrary).

Isn’t this just an excuse to close the Central Library for good, just like the Courthouse?

No. Upper Hutt City Libraries is an award-winning, successful service for Upper Hutt residents. It plays a key role as a point of contact for people in the community and serves many through its provision of borrowable items, services, and programmes.

Our decision to close the Central Library building is driven by a desire to protect the safety of our staff and our customers.

We’re working hard to ensure that library services will continue to be available in the city centre, but we now face a significant task in determining how best to deliver that to the community. Our focus now is to understand the scale of remedial action required and our options to ensure services are returned. Budget will be included in the upcoming Long Term Plan to pay for seismic strengthening.

How are staff affected by the building closure?

We’ve done our best to make sure that all our staff are safe and are aware of the situation, ongoing issues, and actions required to return services. Some of our staff are being redeployed to other Council venues, while others are on-call for duty as and when required. At this stage, we are not expecting any change in staffing as a result of the closure.

More information

Our media release announcing the closure: https://upperhuttcity.com/2018/02/07/upper-hutt-central-library-building-closed/

Our 9 February update: https://upperhuttcity.com/2018/02/09/upper-hutt-central-library-building-closure-9-february-update/