Library Building Upgrade

Organisation or Group Requesting Funds
Karamea War Memorial Library
Contact Person
Valerie Moynihan
Email Address
What do you want funding for?
The Karamea War Memorial Library Committee request funding to carry out vital repairs and maintenance to the historic community building that houses the current stock of books and other reading resources.

The Karamea War Memorial Library (KWML) is situated on the main street of Karamea and was built by the community in the 1950's. At that time a sympathetic government made pound for pound grants available for communities to erect suitable memorials for those lost to NZ in the Second World War. It has always been used as a community library but initially shared the space with Plunket and then later, St. Johns. Now the library occupies the entire building.

The building has been maintained over the years with regular painting and occasional alterations. The original roof was replaced several years ago and is sound. The committee planned to repaint the building last Summer however on closer inspection decided that there were repairs to the building that needed to be completed before a repaint.
How does this relate to our community plan?
Undertaking the maintenance to our building is included under the keystone community-led projects in our Community Plan, which is a fluid document edited collectively by community on an annual basis.

A draft of our most recent Karamea Community Plan edit (March 2020) is attached to this application.
What is the start date / what is the end date?
Where will the benefit of this grant request be realised?
Karamea and Little Wanganui
What are the expected benefits/outcomes?
That the building will continue to be a suitable venue for taking care of the stock of books that the KWML committee currently manage on behalf of the community and that the upgrade will encourage even greater participation in the service than is already enjoyed.

The benefit will be felt by the short and long term subscribers to the library. Karamea is a 200kms return journey from the closest Council owned library in Westport which is a long journey, taking most of a day, however with increasing travel costs this journey has become even less accessible.
The percentage of older retired people residing in the district is steadily increasing (this fact is supported in the last 3 census figures showing a steady percentage increase for the 65 and over age group from 13.9% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2018) and this group are the most enthusiastic supporters and the highest users.

The KWML is also well supported by other age groups in the local community as evidenced by the number of household subscriptions that we currently have. We wish to to continue to offer this vital service to our geographically isolated community

The library is open to the public three times per week. These opening hours are staffed by an entirely volunteer roster of librarians. There is a steady flow of customers using the facility through all of the opening hours. We have 3 levels of subscription and for the past 5 years have had 40-50 active household annual subscriptions. There is also a seasonally changing number of shorter subscriptions to suit personal budgets and needs and for transient workers and longer term staying travellers .

We regularly receive book donations from the public and use this much valued resource to refresh our stock and the interaction this activity creates with the wider community allows us to keep people informed. We recycle unused books through our $1 sales and a free book fridge. These are all well used services and a vital asset to our remote rural community.
Briefly describe your project or planned activities
We will engage the builder who has quoted for us and has already demonstrated through recent building works on other community buildings that he is competent to complete the works required to a high standard.

The chairperson will manage this project and has access to two offers of volunteered expertise from outside the committee if required.
How will you show you have achieved it?
We will publish regular library updates of the work's progression through the community notification networks. (Karamea Radio Station,, Karamea Chronicle)

We will have an open day when the work is completed.

We will advertise this on the local media platforms listed above and ensure that all our funding partners are recognised.

The improvements made to the building with the upgrade will include a new returns box for
greater flexibility and we hope that the repairs, new paint and floor coverings will be inspiring and
create even more community enthusiasm.
Select the ethnic groups or communities which will benefit from your activities or project
What is the total grant you are requesting, exclusive of GST?
Application Status
Amount Awarded

Karamea community members are invited to leave comments in support (or otherwise) of this proposed community-led development project. Comments will be visible to all. Please be aware that your comment may factor into Department of Internal Affairs decision-making regarding support for the project. We ask that you provide your real name on your comment, so that other community members may follow up with you, if needed. If you prefer, you may email the Karamea Community Incorporated secretary with your comment, and they will post your comment on your behalf.