The revamped Waipukurau Library has closed suddenly after engineers deemed the building to have "structural vulnerabilities", despite supposed strengthening work done as part of renovations just four years ago.

Central Hawke's Bay Council chief executive Monique Davidson said council made the decision after receiving advice from engineers that the building has structural vulnerabilities putting it at risk in the event of a "significant earthquake".

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The building will be closed to the public until further notice, while the Central Hawke's Bay District Council awaits completion of a further detailed seismic assessment report.


"It is the safety of our staff and customers that is of primary concern to us," Davidson said.

She said as part of the development of asset management plans for the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, CHB District Council is reviewing the condition of its key assets.

This included a "desk top" seismic assessment report of the Waipukurau Library. The initial findings triggered the council to request a full seismic assessment of the Waipukurau Library.

While the assessment is ongoing, physical inspection of the building by engineers has provided sufficient information to close the library as a precaution.

In 2013 the building was deemed to be "potentially earthquake-prone" by engineers and it was renovated in 2016, with the expectation that the building was earthquake strengthened.

The seismic assessment is required before the council can comment on the work completed in 2016 and the building's condition.

The Waipawa Library was due to open from Tuesday, June 2 and will continue to do so.

The council is looking at a range of options for continuing to offer library services.