Sunday, April 14, 2024

Watpac to build Christchurch arena

Christchurch City Council has voted to increase the budget for the city’s new multi-use arena, with construction now set to get underway by the end of the year.

The vote will see the budget for the new arena increased to $683 million. Councillors have also committed to a design and construction contract with BESIX Watpac.

“Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and it should have a multi-use arena where top international acts can perform and the All Blacks, the Crusaders and other sporting greats can play,” said Christchurch Mayor, Lianne Dalziel.

“We also need to be preparing for the future of entertainment and Esports is taking off around the world.”

“The cost of the arena is much higher than we envisaged when we first began planning for this project,” the Mayor said.

“But no-one could have foreseen the global events – the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Europe – which have disrupted supply chains, pushed-up commodity prices and led to an over-heated construction market.

“The reality is that we cannot build the type of multi-use arena that we want for Christchurch for the money that we have on the books. Unless we are willing to significantly scale back the size and scope of the arena, we have to increase the budget.

“The good news is that Te Kaha Project Delivery Limited has been able to secure a fixed price contract for the design and construction of the arena, which means the Council is protected from the risk of further cost escalations,’’ she said.

Te Kaha Board Chair, Barry Bragg said the arena is the missing piece in Christchurch’s rebuilt city centre.

“The Council is making a very significant investment in the arena but if Christchurch residents want to have big concerts and sports events in their city, we need this venue,’’ Mr Bragg says.

“To get a fixed price contract for the arena in these volatile times is a significant accomplishment and we really appreciate the way that BESIX Watpac has worked with us to achieve this.’’

BESIX Watpac Chief Executive, Mark Baker said the decision to move ahead with the project and realise the Council vision for a landmark multi-use stadium, capable of facilitating world-class sporting matches and international entertainment acts, will be celebrated now and into the future.

“This will be an iconic stadium, one of only two in the world with a fully enclosed roof and natural grass playing field,” Mr Baker said.

“The stadium will also be built to withstand Christchurch seismic activity not only on completion but during construction, which by any standard is a challenging and unique task.”

Mr Baker says BESIX Watpac will continue to work with Christchurch City Council and Te Kaha Project Delivery Limited to closely manage the delivery and the construction timetable.

He said the company had already let trade packages for early works and would continue to lock-in local trades and suppliers early to secure works certainty and manage cost well ahead of the construction schedule.

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