150 Celebrating Christchurch City Libraries 1859-2009 RSS feed

Te Kete Wānanga o Waitikiri - Parklands Library

Parklands LibraryHistory begins on day one, so even one of our newest libraries, Parklands, has a little history.

Opened 6 August 2005 and situated in one of the fastest-growing residential areas of Christchurch, a library had been mooted for Parklands for a number of years. In the end the library resulted from an imaginative makeover of the tired 1970s shell of the former Parklands Baptist Church. The architect was Crispin Schurr (Crispin’s other work includes the Peace Bell pavilion, the waiting lounge at the Bus Exchange, Spreydon Library and the bird hide at the Travis Wetlands) and the builders were Higgs Builders. The resulting library and learning centre is a sunny attractive hub for the community, featuring a coffee bar and flexibility of furniture which allows it to be reconfigured for the use of different groups at different times of day.

Art works reflect area’s natural history

Art works are an exciting feature of the library including an eel themed carpet and sculpture specially designed by Christchurch artist Bing Dawe, and an eel-like whariki hanging from the ceiling.

All were designed to evoke the natural history of the area which was once full of wetlands teeming with native birds, fish and eels. Nearby Travis Wetland is a reminder of what the area once looked like. You can read more about the history of the area here.

Whāriki MatarikiThe whariki began life as a pile of wet harakeke collected from the Janet Stewart reserve in Marshland. Under the guidance of local weaver, Simon Rutherford and Māori Services Librarian, Haneta Pierce, enthusiastic library staff and customers at eight libraries wove the whariki.

Bing Dawe worked with Christchurch firms Dilana Rugs and Custom Carpets to produce the stunning carpets which were woven by Danish firm Ece on specialist machinery. The carpet features a river of eels running through the building linking to a striking sculpture of a large hoop with three eels on its top edge, placed on the library’s rear terrace.

An enjoyable feature of the library is the café (first called Va Voom and now Ditto). The furniture in the library has been designed to be bright, modern and flexible and ranges from stunning armchairs and sofas to moveable shelving and desks. Read more about these in Sally Thompson’s Eels and Wheels presentation which tells the story of the library building project.

The Waitikiri Learning Centre in the library offers 10 workstations, video conferencing facilities and a data projector for workshops, study programmes and use by local schools and community groups.


Library travels with my Father