Christchurch opens its new $93m central library
CHRISTCHURCH: There has not been a central library in Christchurch since the 2011 earthquake.
Turanga, which opened to the public yesterday, took twoandahalf years to build, cost about $93 million and is the largest library in the South Island.
The fivestorey building near Cathedral Square, opposite the quakedamaged cathedral, houses 180,000 books, a 200seat theatre and a $1 million touch screen.
Turanga head of libraries and information Carolyn Robertson said the project had created a lot of buzz.
‘‘Kids and families are absolutely going go to the first floor and just revel in all the colour and excitement and things they can get their hands on. Our genealogists and family history people are going to love going to our identity floor, so it’ll be different for people who are keen to see a performance or an event — they’re going to gravitate to our TSB space.’’
Ngai Tuahuriri — the local Ngai Tahu hapu — helped with the construction, design and Maori artwork.
Spokeswoman Lynne Te Aika said it was important their culture was represented.
‘‘If you think of the former Christchurch preearthquakes, it reflected only the English migration from the number of churches and the number of buildings [that] really reflected European history — so I think it’s an exciting step forward.’’
The Christchurch City Council held an opening ceremony at noon yesterday, followed by walking tours that will continue over the weekend. — RNZ