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Opinion: Christchurch Indoor Sports Stadium – cost blow threatens key city project

New ZealandUpdated 1 Jun, 2022 07:00 PM3 minutes to read The planned Te Kaha Canterbury Multi-Use Arena. Image / Supplied OPINION: For...

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The planned Te Kaha Canterbury Multi-Use Arena. Image / Supplied


For Canterbury sports fans the news was not good on Wednesday.

The promised multi-use indoor sports stadium has been delayed again.

This time a $150 million blow to the budget is to blame.

It should come as no surprise to all those involved in the project that the price to build the giant arena was going to increase.

The price tag is now $683m.

The construction industry is overheated, there is a labour shortage, and supplies have been disrupted around the world adding to the pain.

But here the stadium has gone from a price rise to a “price shock” according to the chair of the independent board governing the stadium.

This is not breaking news for us consumers.

We all feeling the pain and know prices are up on almost everything.

The humble 1kg block of tasty cheese hit $20 and made the news headlines – a price rise and price shock.

Drivers have been feeling the pain at the pump, diesel has more than doubled in price in less than six months.

And the cost to build a house or purchase building materials has skyrocketed.

Now its hit home for the council and one of Christchurch’s biggest construction projects.

Now has a question mark hanging over is future with another $150 million to be added to the bill.

Yesterday Christchurch CIty Council chief executive Dawn Baxendale said she wants to consult the public on ‘how they feel about where we are currently at’ with the increased cost.

She has come up with three scenarios – increase the budget to pay for the 30,000 seat stadium. Yes please!

Scale it back to 20,000 seats and put a big hole in the roof to save some money. Nah.

Third, halt the project.

“Not on your nelly,” I say.

We can’t stop now!

After everything Christchurch has been through, we are determined to get our city rebuilt, get our lives back to normal and that includes a new stadium.

Just take a look at Te Pae – Christchurch’s brand-new convention centre. It is simply magnificent and a great asset for the city.

Peak inside Turanga, Christchurch’s Central Library in Cathedral Square. Five levels high it is the most modern public library in the South Pacific.

Another bold building decision that has paid off.

And the new Metro Sports Facility Taiwhanga Rehia – still a year away but it will be the largest aquatic and indoor recreational sports facility in New Zealand.

All I can say is thank goodness they were built before the current world shortage of materials and labour and that have pushed prices up.

Now is the time for city’s leaders to step up, lead, and be decisive.

We need the stadium, it must be fully covered, and have enough seats to attract the best sports stars, entertainers, and concerts in the world.

We can’t stop now, we can’t afford to wait any longer.

No more surprises please.

Just shock us by building the best and biggest indoor stadium in NZ right here in Christchurch.

Be brave – “Don’t drop the ball now” – the new indoor stadium must go ahead despite the cost blowout.

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