Saturday, April 20, 2024

Lyttelton site ready to set SailGP

The first phase of improvement works at Naval Point in Lyttelton has wrapped up ahead of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix event set to take place on 18 – 19 March.

Christchurch City Council Head of Parks, Andrew Rutledge says the improvements to Te Nukutai o Tapoa – Naval Point will have benefits beyond SailGP. 

“Naval Point is a popular spot for launching boats and other recreational water activities. The site improvements will provide lasting benefits to water users and a number of sports clubs that also use the area long into the future,” says Mr Rutledge. 

Works included resealing the carpark area, completing storm water drainage works, upgrading utilities, and installing floating pontoons near the public ramp. A waterfront walkway has also been completed, alongside an artwork developed by Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rāpaki. 

The Council says finishing touches are being added to the shared walk and cycle way that now connects Te Nukutai o Tapoa – Naval Point to the centre of the Lyttelton township.  

“Naval Point will be broadcast to millions of SailGP spectators around the world, showcasing the region and the newly completed stage of work,” says Mr Rutledge.  

Sailing teams will race on Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour on 18 – 19 March as part of the major global sporting event.  

Head of the New Zealand SailGP Event, Karl Budge says staging an international event in a busy, working port is no easy feat. 

“Delivering Christchurch’s first major sailing event has been a real privilege for SailGP. We’ve been enormously grateful for the support of Christchurch City Council, ChristchurchNZ, Lyttelton Port Company and all of our partners along the way.” 

The SailGP team started the process of setting up their race village after the site was blessed by Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rāpaki on 18 February. 

“Thanks to the team’s collective efforts, the stage is set for a pretty amazing showcase on Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour next week and the venue is looking fantastic,” says Mr Budge.  

The Council are currently scoping future stages of work for Te Nukutai o Tapoa – Naval Point, to take place after the SailGP event.  

“Future stages include further work on marine access, pedestrian improvements, and new shared facilities for both land and water based sport and recreation, including a significant upgrade of the recreation ground facilities,” says Mr Rutledge. 

The $27 million plan to redevelop Naval Point – Te Nukutai o Tapoa was approved by the Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula Community Board in November 2020.  

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