Following visits to New Zealand over the last couple of years I have been aware that the National Library of NZ and the public library network have been working on a consortium approach for some of the country's public libraries. Work started in 2007, and they have just launched this consortium, called "kōtui" - a Māori word which means to interlace or interweave. The first library service to join was Marlborough, which started in 29 September.
Information about kōtui can be found here and here.
This consortium will start with 14 local government authorities (45 libraries and 5 mobile libraries) but extend beyond this initial group over time.
The consortium has chosen the Sirsi Dynix Symphony LMS to manage their physical collections, and has chosen EBSCO's Electronic Discovery Service to manage their digital materials. The LMS will be hosted in New Zealand.
This consortium will be quite different to what we are building here in SA. The participating libraries are not necessarily geographically related, with libraries spread across the country. They will gain the benefits of a modern LMS and e-resource tools in a hosted environment, but at this stage there is no facility for collection sharing through inter-library loan.
We will keep in contact with our NZ colleagues as it is likely that we will be able to learn from each other as we develop and grow our respective consortia.