Government overhauls major Christchurch build plan

Christchurch, Earthquake
The Metro Sports Facility project is expected to exceed its budget by $75 million under the previous Government's plan. Photo credit: Supplied

The Government has announced it will overhaul the previous Government's plan for Christchurch's Metro Sports Facility anchor project after revealing it would blow out its budget by more than $75 million.

The plan under the National Government meant construction was supposed to have been completed by 2020.

Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods says a new plan will need to be in place urgently.

"I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing," she says.

"That is an undue burden on taxpayers and ratepayers for a project that is already significantly delayed - in fact the facility was due to be opened by now, yet construction has not even begun.

"This Government is committed to faster, concrete progress on the Canterbury recovery. We want action and momentum, not the delays and roadblocks we have seen in years past."

Anchor project agency Ōtākaro will still complete the current design work by April 2018, before a building contract goes out for tender with the hopes of the facility opening in early 2021.

"I have also asked officials to use this time to partner with the Christchurch City Council on an urgent review of options for the project, such as whether it would be beneficial to combine part or all of the Metro Sports Facility with the proposed Multi Use Arena," Minister Woods added.

"This will allow us to test whether the assumptions made in 2012 about this project still hold up and we are still getting a facility that meets the city's needs and is fit for purpose."