Kindergarten over Community Garden?

Wanaka Street parkWellington City Council proposes to move a kindergarten onto a hard-won and scarce public community garden in Johnsonville.

Wanaka Street gardens is a public park created by the sheer determination of a past Johnsonville residents group. 25 years ago. The City Council wanted to sell the land to developers, but residents protested and eventually won – the tiny park became central Johnsonville’s only community garden space.

Around the same time, WCC sold off the site of the nearby Johnsonville Kindergarten building to the private owners of the kindergarten ‘business’ for a nominal sum. Now WCC are proposing to acquire the kindergarten land back at twenty times the cost, to use it to create a complex that will house the new Johnsonville Library.

The proposal is complex, but essentially the proposed library complex will include a 50 seat Cafe and a sizeable kindergarten within the library building to re-home the kindergarten operation.

Johnsonville residents were initially thrilled to hear of a $16 to $18 million budget for a new Library, but now it appears that WCC may spend nearly half of that sum on accommodating a 50 seat cafe and a Kindergarten within the complex.


  • Is it OK for WCC to trash our hard-won community garden without public consultation – so they can “temporarily” re-locate a kindergarten on the site while the library is constructed ?
  • Should “our” library budget be spent on Cafes and Kindergartens? Or should it be spent on a better public library facility?
  • Is it OK for the the new library construction to destroy the Community Centre’s purpose-built indoor “youth room” (that local people paid for) and our outdoor basketball half court? Neither are planned or budgeted to be replaced, and that’s a massive loss for our young people!
  • Is it OK for this new library to destroy significant outdoor public space, sports and youth and greenspace amenities?



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