What are the plans of?

    Two design options for the heritage restoration, seismic remediation, and modernisation of Leys Institute, at 20 St Mary’s Bay Road. These are concept designs so we are still refining them with your input.

    Why is Leys Institute being restored?

    The Leys Institute is a heritage building which is earth-quake prone and doesn’t meet the needs of the community. We’re restoring and extending this building so that it will last for generations to come.

    Why are there two designs?

    We want the community to have the space that is best for them and for generations to come. Design 1 is a best-case scenario based on our understanding of what current and future communities needs from the Leys Institute, but it is more expensive. Design 2 is a lower cost option, but it won’t be able to offer as many services and spaces for community and we will probably have to spend more in the near future to make it fit for community use. 

    What are the differences between the two designs?

    Design one connects the separate library and gymnasium buildings by a three-level addition that opens the buildings to the courtyard and outside environment and includes heritage restoration and preservation. 

    There are new spaces for a community kitchen, an increased library space, and flexible bookable areas for local groups, community member and businesses.  

    This design enables full library and community service delivery from the day it opens and well into the future. However, it is expensive and will require more funding than is currently available. 

    We are looking at ways to fund the $3.2 million shortfall for this design. We want your views on how best to generate extra funding should this be the preferred option. 

    Design two is a smaller building extension, replacing and extending out the space of the existing 1938 Lending Library Room, while retaining the library and gymnasium as two separate buildings. 

    It is a lower cost option, based on the funding we have available now. However, it does not enable heritage restoration of the original parts of the Leys Institute and it will not be able to offer as many services and spaces for community. Spaces will not be as flexible and won’t meet the needs of our future communities. 

    Who designed it?

    We’ve worked with mana whenua and a rōpū of community leaders, including representatives from Friends of Leys, Heritage NZ, local community associations, and the Ponsonby Community Centre to really understand what's important to this community. Our heritage architect, Antony Matthews, of Matthews and Matthews Architects, has a long history with the building and brought valuable local knowledge to the design process.

    Is the library moving there?

    Yes! Your library service will return to the brand-new library space once the building is finished. We’ll be bigger and better, come say hi!

    What else will be in the Leys Institute?

    We’re still working on this, but spaces have carefully been designed to be flexible so that many groups and users can enjoy the building. The Leys Institute will still have a library and spaces for hire, as it did before its temporary closure.

    Are you selling the Leys Institute?

    No, there has never been an intention to sell the Leys Institute. We’re restoring and modernising it so that the mokopuna of your tamariki can continue to enjoy the space. 

    When will it be ready?

    Our aim is July 2025. 



    How much will it cost?

    We estimate $18.8 million for design 1 and $13.8 million for design 2. Design 1 costs $5 million more than design 2 because it is future proofed and includes heritage preservation and restoration. 

    Where is the money coming from?

    Council has some money set aside from the regional seismic remediation budget and Waitematā Local Board have agreed to use the proceeds from property sales to fund this work. However, to proceed with design 1, around $3.2 million dollars will have to be raised. We have three ways of raising this money

    1. Targeted rate
    2. Community or corporate donations 
    3. Selling another property

    Why don't you just sell the other property mentioned?

    We will if we can, however, that property provides income that will no longer be available to fund services. 

    What's a targeted rate?

    Targeted rates pay for specific services or projects and can be set generally across all ratepayers or to certain ratepayers in certain areas.

    How much would the targeted rate be? For how long?

    To raise $3 million a targeted rate would cost approximately $160 per Ponsonby household per annum over three years. Spread over 10 years, Ponsonby households would pay approximately $50 per annum. We will undertake consultation specifically on the targeted rate if a targeted rate is required.  

    Why can’t council pay for it?

    Many of our services and buildings require funding or refurbishment and this needs to be spread fairly over all of Tāmaki Makaurau. We’ve gathered available funding for now and need to explore other ways to fund the $3.2 million deficit if design 1 is preferred. 

    Aren’t there other ways of fundraising?

    Yes, and we’re looking into them right now, but need to explore all avenues.

    1. Community or corporate donations 
    2. Selling another property

    What if I don’t want a targeted rate?

    While we are trying, we may not be able to find the additional money to fund design 1, in which case we will proceed with design 2 to ensure the Leys Institute can re-open for the community.