Wellington.Scoop » Groundbreaking ceremony for the new Archives Building behind the National Library

New Zealand Government News
An official ceremony to begin construction of a new archives building on Aitken Street in Wellington this morning was live-streamed to a wider audience, as Home Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti joined representatives of Taranaki Whānui Te Āti Awa and other dignitaries at an event that included Te Huringa o Papatūānuku, the turning of earth to mark the start of work at the construction site.

This new building will provide a state-of-the-art archive repository and specialist facilities for Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga Archives New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa National Library of New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (formerly known as the name of New Zealand Film Archives).

Representatives of Taranaki Whānui Te Āti Awa and design agency Tihei worked alongside Warren & Mahoney Architects to co-design this building with a te ao Māori worldview, connecting the building to the whenua it sits on and recognizing the people who lived here before.

“The new building will be on part of the original Pipitea Pā whenua. This is where we grew our kai, raised our families and buried our dead. It’s easy to throw things at a building, but we all want to incorporate our identity, values ​​and stories through design so that it brings life and soul to a place,” said Toi Pūkenga Tihei Rangi Kipa.

When people enter the building, it will feel like they are descending into the whenua. In the plaza, visitors will see references to the original pee beds, gardens and kumara mounds. On the facade of the building, the names of the Te Āti Awa hapū and references to their mana i te whenua will be placed facing the Parliament.

“Waiata and design is about reviving our presence on Pipitea and throughout our takiwā to ensure that the existence of the mana whenua of Pipitea Kainga will never be forgotten. The bold poutama designs and intaglio carvings on the facade of the building are ancient drawings of our heritage, our whenua and our identity, making us visible again in the landscape,” said Rangi Kipa.

The new Archives building will feature one of the most efficient facades in the country, minimizing the energy required to maintain repository conditions and ensuring the collections are protected even in the event of a building power failure. Base isolation means the building will be able to remain safe and fully operational after a major earthquake.

The building will also include additional seminar and meeting rooms, secure loading and quarantine areas, state-of-the-art storage and shelving, audiovisual and cinema rooms, and preservation and digitization facilities.

Kaipupuri Matua Chief Archivist Stephen Clarke said the opening of the new facility will mark a transformational change in Archives New Zealand’s ability to care for our government and taonga memory.

“The opportunities with the new facility are enormous. For Archives New Zealand, he will ensure that the archives are kept in the most modern conservation and care facilities. But, the greatest opportunity will be for the public to have better access to see the wide range of taonga that we tend to on their behalf.

“Archives tell who we are, what shaped us, where we are today and how we might go into the future. They play a central role in who we are as a nation.

DIA works alongside fund managers AMP Capital Ltd. to construct the new archives facility with construction partners, LT McGuiness.

The new archive building is expected to open in 2026.

The Tāhuhu: Preserving the Nation’s Memory (Tāhuhu) program grew out of a property review conducted by Te Tari Taiwhenua Internal Affairs. The review found that over 60% of the North Island National Archives and Library buildings are unsuitable. The Archives New Zealand repository in Wellington has been full since 2017 and the National Library will be nearly full by 2030.

As official custodians of the documentary heritage and archives of the Government of New Zealand, Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga Archives New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa National Library of New Zealand hold irreplaceable taonga for the nation, valued at over $1.5 billion and growing.

Together, they contain over 12 million items, including government documents, publications, books, manuscripts, works of art, scientific data, images, films and more. These physical records total more than 271,000 linear meters (271 km) and continue to grow.

In addition, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, which is partnering with the National Library and Archives of New Zealand for the co-design and development of the new facility, looks after New Zealand’s largest public audiovisual collection. Zealand containing 711,671 items.

The new purpose-built $290 million National Archives facility at 2-12 Aitken Street, Wellington will comprise approximately 19,300 square meters of lettable area. The building has basic insulation features allowing business continuity after a major earthquake and is expected to be one of the most earthquake resistant buildings in New Zealand when completed.

Construction is expected to take around three to four years, use 6,500 tonnes of steel, 1.5 million hours of on-site labor and create 500 construction jobs.

The land, 2-12 Aitken St, is owned by Canadian Mutual Fund, PSPIB/CPPIB Waiheke Inc. with resident DIA as long-term tenant. Archives New Zealand will take an initial 25-year lease on the building with several extension options.

New Zealand Government News – May 20, 2020
The 2020 budget includes a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to lease a new Wellington Archives facility and increased funding for the work of the Archives and National Library.

“Last year I released plans for a new Wellington Archives building – a purpose-built facility physically linked to the National Library by airlift,” Home Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said.

“Funding in this year’s budget means we can now continue with these plans and have a single campus that holds and preserves our unique documented history and our taonga.”

The budget provides $46.6 million in operating expenditure over four years and $146 million in capital to continue the development of Wellington and the purchase of land and the design of a new regional storage facility for Archives New Zealand and the National Library in the lower part of the North Island.

“This investment in a new Archives building is a unique opportunity to create a national documentary heritage campus and represents a major project for Wellington,” said Ms Martin.

“With the private developer funding the base construction, the new funds will fund the specialist fit-up of the Archives building, as well as design work for the National Library alterations and connection to the skybridge. This will enable closer collaboration between the three heritage organizations in New Zealand; Archives, the National Library and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, which are currently co-located with the National Library.

Construction of the new Archives building is expected to begin in mid-2021 and will help New Zealand’s economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is estimated that the work on the Wellington facility alone will create over 340 jobs and that number will increase as the program expands,” the minister said.

The 2020 budget also includes additional operating capital of $23 million and capital of $1.7 million over four years to enable the Archives and the National Library to better fulfill their primary roles of collaborating with government agencies, digitizing and preserving the materials and providing public access.

In addition, an investment of $4.7 million operating and $6.3 million capital was made to support the digitization of high-risk audiovisual collections that are such an important testament to society and the history of New Zealand in the second half of the last century. This program will be carried out in partnership with Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision.

“This new spending under Budget 2020 recognizes the importance of our documentary heritage collections and will enable us to better safeguard and preserve them so that current and future generations can access our stories, culture, traditions and our unique heritage,” said Minister Martin.

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