Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Christchurch CEO promises full disclosure of rising arena costs

Information about the escalating costs of building Christchurch’s new multi-use arena will be made publicly available as soon as it is possible, says Christchurch City Council Chief Executive, Dawn Baxendale.

“We have been advised by the Te Kaha delivery company that the $533 million budget for the arena is under pressure and there have been cost escalations, as there have been with most construction projects.

“However, we will not know the full extent of the financial challenge that we are facing until we receive the Design and Construction submission from BESIX Watpac,” Mrs Baxendale says.

“We expect to get that submission by the end of May. Once we have received that and staff have analysed it, a detailed report will be prepared for the elected Council and made publicly available.”

She said that if additional funding was required for the arena, Council would consult the public before making a decision on whether to commit to the design and construction contract.

Christchuch City Council CEO, Dawn Baxendale.

“The time to have the debate about the costs of the arena is when we have all the facts in front of us,” said Ms Baxendale.

“We always knew there were risks associated with the budget for this project, given the global supply chain issues and material price increases that have arisen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These risks were clearly signalled in the publicly available July and August 2021 reports to the Council on the arena.”

Barry Bragg, Chair of the Te Kaha delivery company board, says material prices increased fin the first quarter of this year, with further disruption to the international supply chain caused by the war in Ukraine.

“Exactly how much these factors have impacted on the budget for the arena will become clear once we get the Design and Construction submission. Until then, there is nothing to be gained by speculating about how much the costs might have increased,’’ Mr Bragg says. 

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