The long-running debate over a proposed South Dunedin library
is set to resume when the Dunedin City Council considers its
pre-draft budget later this week.
A report to be considered by councillors detailed five
options, ranging from cancelling the project to the
development of a library and community hub, which could cost
more than $8 million.
Alternatively, councillors could opt to enter a joint venture
partnership with a commercial partner, to help offset some of
the cost, or contract a developer to build the facility for
The report by council arts and culture group manager Bernie
Hawke was the latest step in a long-running debate. A report
by Octa Associates, commissioned by the council in 2005, had
concluded the facility was a priority for the area, but
debate has continued since.
Last year, councillors brought forward a planned report on
options for the facility by a year, to this year's annual
plan process, and $12 million was included in long-term
council budgets to 2019-20.
That would fund the South Dunedin library, if it proceeded,
as well as a planned $3.85 million refurbishment of the
central-city library in 2019-20.
Building in South Dunedin would also ensure ''continuity of
customer service'' when the central city library was
refurbished, Mr Hawke said.
However, changing patterns of library usage driven by
technology raised questions about what should be considered
for South Dunedin, he said.
Libraries were increasingly social spaces offering a mix of
community interaction, learning activities and access to
digital technology, he said.
Examples of new library developments in other parts of the
country showed what could be achieved, including in
Christchurch, he said.
However, the council's financial situation had changed since
the project was first suggested, and the council could opt to
cancel the project, he said.
If councillors opted to proceed, the mix of facilities and
services should be developed in consultation with the
community, he said.
Councillors would have to decide whether a facility was
needed, and if so, which option was preferred, his report
• Council development, vacant site or existing
building, possible cost $8 million.
• Joint venture development with community or
• Development by commercial partner for council.
• Pop-up temporary facility.
• No development