Christchurch City Council says residents and groups may be forced to wait until at least mid-2025 to use the Parakiore Recreation and Sports Centre, after further delays and a legal dispute between the delivery agency and contractor were announced.
Council says the new delay stems from a cost escalation dispute between the contractor, CPB, and the Crown’s delivery agency, Rau Paenga (formerly Ōtākaro Ltd).
CPB has increased its claim from an additional $212 million to $439 million to complete Parakiore. The major anchor project is more than 70% complete.
“We’re disappointed and dismayed that Christchurch residents are facing further delays to the project, and that contractor’s claims have increased so dramatically,” says Council Chief Executive, Dawn Baxendale.
“Christchurch residents, sports organisations and community groups have been waiting years to enjoy this space, and we believe they deserve better.
“On-site work began on this project in 2018, and Cantabrians were initially told it would be completed by 2021.”
The contractor’s claims would mean the project contract’s value could increase to $696 million, which is more than the $683 million lump sum contract to deliver Te Kaha, Canterbury’s Multi-Use Arena. The Council’s contribution to the Parakiore project is capped at $146.9 million.
Sport Canterbury Chief Executive, Julyan Falloon says the ongoing delays and disputes are causing frustration within the sporting groups and residents.
“This project is already years behind schedule; residents will continue to be extremely frustrated by this news, and Sport Canterbury, along with our wider sector, share this frustration,” Mr Falloon says.
“The sport, recreation and physical activity sector are relying on this essential community facility, and the delays not only affect planning and budgets, but also the ability for some sports in our region to grow.
“The best-case scenario is for the issue to be resolved quickly, or at least to put this current situation aside so there are no further delays.”
Rau Paenga has rejected CPB’s claims on both entitlement and amount, and says they seek a reasonable commercial resolution. A High Court decision has seen Rau Paenga successfully prevent CPB from suspending on-site construction works, based on its unsubstantiated claims.
Once completed, Parakiore will be the largest aquatic and indoor recreation and leisure facility of its type in New Zealand.
Read Rau Paenga’s media statement here.