Waipukurau library fails earthquake standards despite strengthening

3:53 pm on 6 August 2020

Waipukurau's library fails to meet earthquake standards, despite significant strengthening work carried out five years ago, a new report has found.

Waipukurau is the largest town in the Central Hawke's Bay District. Businesses hope the economy will get a boost from the Ruataniwha Dam.

Waipukurau is the largest town in the Central Hawke's Bay District. Photo: RNZ / Peter Fowler

The Waipukurau Memorial Centennial Library, in Central Hawke's Bay, was closed in May after structural vulnerabilities were found.

Further investigations have since found the building meets less than 20 percent of the new building standard, Central Hawke's Bay District Council chief executive Monique Davidson said.

Significant structural strengthening and renovation of the library and nearby Memorial Hall were completed in 2016, she said.

"We understand this is a further blow to the wellbeing of the Central Hawke's Bay Community with the Waipukurau Library, and now Waipukurau Memorial Hall, being confirmed as potentially earthquake prone.

"Like our community, we have a number of questions and concerns about the position we find ourselves in, following significant investment in both buildings over the last five years for seismic strengthening and renovation."

She was unable to comment on specific details in the new report, based on legal advice, she said.

"We know that our community expects answers, and we will continue to be as transparent and open as we can be with our information, while not jeopardising any future processes to come."

The library would remain closed, but the hall would remain open despite being potentially earthquake prone.

"We fully acknowledge that this situation is unacceptable, and we are focussed on working to minimise the impact of the ongoing closure of Waipukurau Library and with users of the Waipukurau Memorial Hall," Davidson said.