NZ First backing a new, multi-purpose Christchurch stadium

  • 16/08/2017
Winston Peters, Christchurch
But Winston Peters wants a wooden one built using only Kiwi trees. Photo credit: Newshub

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has given those in Christchurch a sweetener heading into next month's election, putting his party's full support behind a new multi-purpose stadium.

In a speech launching their Christchurch candidates, he told locals they are being "treated like a backwater and [are] falling behind."

"Why can't Christchurch and Canterbury have a decent covered multi-use sports stadium to be used for top rugby and other events?" he said.

"You missed out on having a Lions rugby test this winter for the first time ever."

Mr Peters channelled the recent success of the Crusaders, saying the "second rate temporary stadium [is] not worthy of you or your champions."

Christchurch, Sports
AMI Stadium holds less than 20,000 people for rugby matches. Photo credit: Getty

However the backing of NZ First comes with outlined conditions.

"We make two provisos. One, that you build a 24/7 revenue earning, multi-purpose complex where sporting and entertainment events occasionally happen," he said.

"Two, that the stadium is built with wood - and wood grown in New Zealand as a serious preference.

"You have the technology and know-how here to make it happen."

The stadium wasn't the only issue backed by Mr Peters, throwing his party's weight behind a rebuild of the ChristChurch Cathedral.

"The option of gifting the Cathedral to the people of New Zealand should have been considered years back," he added.

"And the Government, realising the importance of this building for the heritage of Christchurch, should have stepped in and started rebuilding.

"When we last visited Christchurch at the beginning of July we said if rebuilding doesn't start, we would make sure it happens straight after the election. We stick by that."

Mr Peters announced six candidates to run in Christchurch ahead of the election on September 23.