Christchurch opens its new $93m cen­tral li­brary

Otago Daily Times - - DUNEDIN -

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

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