Re-opening of St Heliers Library

St Heliers Library 2023

Desley Simpson Deputy Mayor and Ōrākei ward councillor said about the reopening of the St Heliers Library in August:

“After a year of works, this gorgeous heritage library has been lovingly restored. Heritage done well means you can almost not see the changes. As a result of Auckland Council investment, our beautiful St Heliers library is future-proofed for many generations to come.”


Auckland Council has invested in ensuring the heritage St Heliers library in the Ōrākei Ward will still be standing for future generations to come.

  • The heritage protected St Heliers library reopened yesterday 15 August 2023 after a year of works.
  • Earthquake strengthening and renewal work was completed.
  • The walls have been tied together by a new concrete foundation
  • The windows have been – stripped, rustproofed and re-painted
  • There is a new roof, with a slightly steeper pitch and deeper guttering – so no leaks…
  • A new accessibility ramp was built away from the Pohutukawa – ensuring its roots will now be protected.
  • The lovely heritage shelving has been lovingly restored – and is looking magnificent.
  • Up in the roof – it was discovered that a bit more work was needed than first thought – some of the older timbers needed replacing and insufficient bracing meant more strengthening was required.


  • Behind some gib in the children’s area, a window was revealed, it was the original window of that side of the building before the latter addition.
  • Also discovered was a piece of the original wall on the right of the door – just behind the counter.


  • Old timber taken from the roof was given to the Mens Shed East Auckland, who re-purposed it into some lovely picture frames for the library.

History of the building

  • The building was completed in 1926 and designed by Grierson, Aimer and Draffin Architects. The Prominent Auckland firm also designed Aukland War Memorial Museum (1929) and Parnell Public library (1923).
  • The building was originally created to house the Tamaki West Road Board Offices and a fire station for the Volunteer Fire Brigade
  • 1928 the building was converted to a public library
  • The building is notable for its neoclassical architecture style and symmetry.