Local News, Piha Opinion

Janet Clews responds re Library

3 Comments 26 January 2016

Janet Clews has also responded re Piha Library

Piha LibrarySir Bob Harvey responded re “Piha Library”.   Now Janet Clews is responding with her recall of the History of Piha Library.

New members of Piha’s Ratepayers and Residents and their Committee would do well to keep their minds open and delve more into the history and not the questionable recall of who did what that the Piha R&R is feeding them.

Dear Piha Village Voice,

It is disappointing to read that the Piha Library Trust is still not in control of its destiny.  Having read the letters of both Yvonne Dufaur and Sir Bob Harvey, I support them both.

Janet ClewsAs Chairman of the Waitakere City Council Long Term Plan and Annual Plan Committee as well as the Finance Committee for most of the City’s life, I can confirm that the council was keen to see that a permanent home  for the library was achieved.  Land was available and it seemed that people were willing to cooperate for the greater good. Yvonne presented to my committee on a number of occasions.  Her passion and drive received support and encouragement from both elected members and library staff.

The clear understanding then was that in order to hasten the project, the lease, which Council also approved, would, in the first instance, be with the Piha R and R Assoc. because it was the only umbrella group available, But this was to be only until such time as the Library Trust was legally constituted.

That action makes even more sense now than it did then because with more stringent conditions governing philanthropic trusts now in place, it would give much greater security when seeking funding. Land and buildings should be under one entity for preference.

Despite not belonging to Piha, I have had a long connection with its library service as, years ago, the then Glen Eden Borough Council, arranged book loans for Piha when Waitemata  would not. We recognised that many folk from Piha shopped in our village  and  supported us.

Waitakere City Council had a very high opinion of the dedicated folk who ran the Piha library and Su Scott, the head librarian was planning to use the group in a new “virtual museum” web -based project but sadly that was overtaken by change.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Waitakere Ranges Local Board could work with all parties to have Council’s lease transferred to the Library Trust, as was the original intention. This would protect the Piha library service in perpetuity.

Janet Clews

Yvonne Dufaur’s letter

Sir Bob Harvey letter

A closer look at Piha Ratepayers & Residents 

NOTE: Feature photo by CPL

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Bob Harvey says:

    Janet Clews has a deep sense of local Government history and a lifetime of memories . . she also has a great sense of justice and her recall of how things happened in Council is second to none. On the history of how the Piha Library came into being she is as sharp as ever.
    That there is still this tension between the Piha R and R and the Library group after so many years is truly sad.
    I raised this issue after reading Yvonne’s comments and with Janet’s response its time to put an end to this ultimately fruitless witch hunt.
    I would hope that in shedding a light and revealing the true situation with the library set up Piha and the R and R can work towards a better working relationship with this wonderful local asset.
    Sir Bob

  2. Glenda Northey says:

    As Mayor of Glen Eden and a long term Waitakere Councillor Janet Clews was one who actually was involved in what went on with the library in the early days before the move to the new building. So easy for those nay-sayers who have second hand knowledge of what went on to believe the information they receive from others as being truthful.
    I was the Piha Librarian for 12 years before Yvonne took over and she fundraised and got our beautiful building up and running, so between us we KNOW first hand what went on with our negotiations with the Council and with the Piha R&R committee.
    Great reinforcement and support from two well respected Mayors and Councillors.
    Stay humble, keep honest and the truth will prevail.
    Glenda Northey

  3. Te bounder says:

    There’s gotta be a film or book (written) about this, or addition to an oral history recording……..but where would you want to store it ? It would be covered in corrections, omissions and additions. Open book policy “Not to be lent out” parental guidance recommended.

    I remember the PO “almost” needed an act of Parliament to change the reserve status to place it on domain land, I was told it couldn’t be done……but one day it was done, I have letters to prove it.


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