From New Zealand to Gardiner: City hires new library director with experience all over the world


For Justin Hoenke, the move to take on the Gardiner Public Library director’s job is like returning home, but the trip for him and his family will be a long one as they relocate from Wellington, New Zealand.

“I’m friendly; I’m kind,” he said. “I am really excited to get into the work and the community.”

Later this year, Hoenke, 41, will start his job as the director of the Gardiner Public Library, stepping into the job that Anne Davis is retiring from after three decades with the library.

Although his transition into the job will be a change, it’s not the biggest one for Hoenke and his family, who are now in the process of packing up all their worldly goods and shipping them 9,236 miles across the international date line from New Zealand to Gardiner.

For the past two years, Hoenke has worked for the Wellington City Library as a service manager for libraries and community spaces in the northern suburbs.

“This feels like it has been a wonderful moment of time here in New Zealand,” he said. “It’s been super cool to get this opportunity, but I almost feel like I’m just coming up the road from my last job in Pennsylvania back to Maine.”