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Major Redevelopment of National Library

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Hon Judith Tizard
Minister Responsible for the National Library

27 May 2008

Major Redevelopment of National Library

Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Minister Responsible for the National Library, Judith Tizard, announced today a major investment in the redevelopment of the National Library of New Zealand.

The redevelopment project involves capital spending of $69 million over five years (of which $18 million has been previously allocated), with the project due for completion in late 2011.

“The redevelopment will open up and expand the building, making its valuable heritage collections more accessible to the public, and creating almost 4000m² of additional storage and exhibition space,” Helen Clark said.

“The National Library’s collections are estimated to be worth $1billion. They include material such as journals and notebooks of Katherine Mansfield, Sir Apirana Ngata’s papers, and a diverse range of books, cartoons, paintings, photographs, and sound recordings. It also houses the Alexander Turnbull Library.

"This development is a major milestone in the history of the National Library. A 21st century library for the digital age will be created,” Helen Clark said.

The redevelopment will provide controlled storage environments, which meet international preservation standards for collections, and will enhance research space and facilities.

“The Library’s collections are the nation’s richest and most valuable heritage collections, as well as being a vibrant hub of contemporary knowledge. They deserve our attention and investment in how they are preserved and presented,” Judith Tizard said.

The Alexander Turnbull Library, which is housed in the current building on Molesworth Street, will have a more prominent presence and its unique identity will be maintained.

"The redeveloped Molesworth Street building will be built on the existing structure. It will maximise use of public space in the parliamentary precinct, add space for exhibitions and digital services, and incorporate environmental sustainability features,” Judith Tizard said.

Work on the building is planned to start towards the end of 2009 and be complete by the end of 2011. The National Library will ensure that its collections continue to be available during the redevelopment.

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