Consultation on the Draft Long Term Plan is underway, and I’ve enjoyed listening to your feedback and ideas for the future of our Smart Little City.

I spent some time at the Elma Turner Library to hear directly from the librarians and Friends of the Library about why libraries matter and what is important in the redevelopment project. At their best, great libraries build communities, and we want to bring the community along with us on this journey to transforming our city’s library. Because of the lack of space our librarians say that - on a daily basis – they are having to turn down requests for valuable community activities.

In its current form, our library is not able to offer a full service to the people of Nelson and change is now needed to allow it to shine as a true community hub.

We recognise Council’s preferred option is a large investment for our community, but it will provide us with a first-class facility for the next century.

The proposed new library would see us work collaboratively with Wakatū Incorporation, who share our vision for the site – a new Riverside Precinct, linking the Maitai/Mahitahi River to the heart of our city.

The new library would be the cornerstone of this Precinct, with unlimited potential for further development to take place, forming a true centre point for our Smart Little City with a Cathedral of faith at one end of Trafalgar Street and a Cathedral of knowledge at the other.

Next time you are on Halifax Street why not try and picture what the new library might look like and what it might offer and then let us know what you think by making a submission to our Long Term Plan before 21 April.

As well as looking forward to an exciting new library for our city, now is also a time for us to look back.

This year, we have updated the name of the ever-popular Nelson Heritage Festival to ‘Tuku 21 Whakatū Heritage Month’ and several events will be held at the library.

‘Tuku’ in te reo Māori means ‘to transfer’ or ‘share’ and reflects the intentions of our event - to share and learn about our rich and diverse stories that may encourage and support greater understanding of our community.

Once again, with assistance from Council funding, individuals and community groups have put forward an array of exciting events, which celebrate and highlight Whakatū Nelson’s collective story and I would like to take this opportunity to thank these groups and volunteers for their enthusiasm, commitment, and investment in time and effort.

On behalf of Nelson City Council, we hope you and your family, friends and work colleagues are able to embrace some of the activities contained in this programme, and enjoy coming together share and learn more about our history.

Nelson City Council is currently taking submissions on the 2021-31 Long Term Plan. To read the Consultation Document and make a submission visit Shape Nelson.