From revitalising the Napier CBD to angst over the place of the city's library - hopes and concerns have been heard on the Napier City Council's proposed plan of action for its civic buildings.

Tomorrow the council will be asked to adopt a plan which gives it the opportunity to sell or lease an earthquake-prone site, possibly for commercial development.

The council has been considering a reshuffle of its civic buildings, after seismic assessments in June showed its civic administration building met 10 per cent of new building standards and the library building 15 per cent.

Council staff and the Napier Library will be leaving the two buildings. The council has asked the community if it agrees with the sale or long-term lease of the Station St corner site for a commercial development.

In a statement of proposal, the council noted that commercial development on the front site was ideal as it was near the ocean, and grouped with nearby commercial premises so could help revitalise that area of the CBD.


Submissions recently closed, with 28 of the 50 who submitted supporting the proposal. There were 19 opposed, and 3 submissions which did not state a preference.

Yesterday Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said the low number of submissions showed the bulk of people were happy with what council were doing.

"There are a small number [of submissions] telling us they don't want council to sell the site and build a hotel, but basically the overall ... expression of interest we're getting is people think it's going to be great for the city."

Although the possibilities for retail and office accommodation were explored, a hotel was found to be the most feasible option as it would provide the best initial and long-term economic benefit to the city.

It would be affordable to redevelop the library building, which could contain all services/council functions and the library.

Submitted reasons for supporting this plan included that it would revitalise this part of the CBD, leasing the site would mean regular income for the council, and that an international-brand hotel would bring tour companies to the city, provide employment and increase spending in the CBD.

Opposition included worry the site would be sold before council knew where the new library could be located, that the site should remain owned by the council and the public, and concern over the need for civic sites to be "generous" with landscaping, forecourts, and parking - which could be lost by consolidating council into half the site.

The best future option for the library would be addressed in stage two of the council's consultation plan, with a 12-month library strategy on how it could operate in future.

In the interim, the library will close for a longer period over Christmas, to reopen in its temporary home at the MTG Hawke's Bay sometime in January.

All council staff are expected to have made the move into three new premises across Napier CBD by Christmas.

-The extraordinary council meeting will begin at 3pm at East Coast Lab, in the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Marine Parade.