Libraries are at the heart of regional communities, providing free access to knowledge, encouraging learning, and cultivating curiosity.

Through Kānoa, the government has provided over $100 million to libraries, art galleries and museums across the country. These investments make our regions better places to live and learn, while helping to increase community pride.

Learn more about Kānoa’s library investments below:

Te Kahu o Waipuna (Blenheim library and art gallery)

A modern two storey building with glass windows all around with 'Te Kahu o Waipuna' signage on the left of the building

Te Kahu o Waipuna. Image credit: Barry Tobin

Blenheim’s new $25.87 million library and art gallery, Te Kahu o Waipuna, was 10 years in the making. The impressive 3,600 square metre facility houses both a large fully equipped library and art gallery over 2 levels.

After being backed by an $11 million government grant from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, the grant subsequently unlocked an additional $14.8 million in co-funding from the Marlborough District Council.

Construction began in September 2020 - in the middle of the pandemic. Despite this, construction was completed in March 2023. This project created new jobs and provided training opportunities for rangatahi.

During peak construction, this project employed 89 people. With the project now completed, the Library and Art Gallery aims to employ 30 administrative staff.

Because the art gallery meets the high standards of Museums Aotearoa, Blenheim can now host exhibitions of rare and valuable works, previously unable to be exhibited in Marlborough.

In its first 6 months, Te Kahu o Waipuna has become a Marlborough destination with an average of 32,000 people visiting the facilities each month.

The building also contains meeting spaces for community groups, which are in high demand, and large spaces for school groups to visit both the library and the gallery.

James Cumming Community Centre and Library (Gore)

A modern two storey building with a wooden exterior and tall windows along the side of both levels

Gore Library. Image credit: Jackie Tav

After Gore’s original library was closed in 2019 due to black mould and asbestos issues, an 18-month project began in 2021 converting the council-owned James Cumming Wing into a new home for Gore’s 35,000 books as well as providing upgraded community rooms and supporting facilities.

The $7.7 million project was co-funded by a $3 million grant from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which is administered by Kānoa.

Completed in March 2023, the project converted the entire ground floor of the James Cumming Wing (approximately 1,224 square meters) into a modern library and modernised the first-floor community rooms and supporting facilities (approximately 508 square meters).

Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi (Ōpōtiki Library)

A modern marae style building with Māori designs on the exterior walls and around the entryway

Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi. Image credit: Tom Frankish

At the heart of Ōpōtiki’s revitalised new town centre is Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, a new library, digital hub, research and technology facility that serves as a community centre for stories, knowledge and learning.

Led by Ōpōtiki District Council, the local community worked tirelessly since 2013 to raise the funds needed for the library. In 2020 Kānoa was able to provide the required short fill in funding and the project was completed in 2021.

The new facility plays an important role in supporting business, arts, culture and community and provides many and varied supported services including digital support, room hire, wifi, online and physical resources, books, movies, devices, events and activities.

There is also a dedicated maker space with lots of opportunities to learn and extend locals skills in 3D design and print, laser cutting and many other tech programmes and activities.

Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi was supported by government funding managed by Kānoa, the library is a key part of the $11.9 million Ōpōtiki CBD revitalisation project that includes a skate park, digital hub, demolition and construction of a new commercial building next to the library, and footpath upgrades that connect from the city to the Motu Trail network.