One of the most exciting projects for the city right now is the Metro Sports Facility and it’s really ramping up, with the first major concrete pour for the site carried out recently.
Ōtākaro have poured around 1100m3 of concrete for the foundations of the site. This is the first of around a half a dozen large concrete pours that will create the foundation for the largest sport and recreation venue of its kind in New Zealand. It was great to see to a procession of around 200 truckloads of concrete arriving on site.
The Metro Sports Facility will cover an area about the size of two rugby fields and require around 16,000m3 of concrete and 3700 tonnes of structural steel to build, making it one of the largest projects in central Christchurch.
Once all of the foundations are poured, people travelling along Moorhouse Avenue and St Asaph Street will start seeing the structural steel going up early next year. This is just another of the visible signs of increased momentum in the recovery, with the opening of wonderful new projects like the city library.
This is also great news for the local economy. Over 300 people are expected to be working on the Metro Sports Facility at the height of construction, so it will be a hive of activity before the doors even open to sport and recreation enthusiasts. That’s 300 people with good, high-paying jobs, not to mention the economic boost to the central city once the project is complete.
Almost a decade after the Canterbury earthquakes, we are nearing a major milestone in the regeneration of greater Christchurch, with the Crown and Christchurch City Council making good progress on achieving a global settlement agreement.
Christchurch is now well placed to return to local leadership. Providing the Council with the opportunities to lead regeneration means the Crown will have less extraordinary involvement over time.
The overall purpose of the global settlement agreement aims to provide certainty and clarity to the people of Christchurch about how regeneration will be managed in future. The agreement covers things like confirming future ownership, transfer and delivery of various assets, including implementation of existing agreements.
The focus has very much been on getting a settlement that’s fair and equitable, affordable, fiscally responsible and sustainable, but also one that provides certainty and confidence on how regeneration will be managed in the future and who will support this.
We are committed to moving forward confidently and hope to have the negotiations wrapped in the coming months – which will be a great achievement ahead of the local body elections in October.
Implementation of the agreement will follow, noting timing considerations are yet to be finalised as part of the negotiations and will become clear once full scope is finalised. Ultimately the goal is to ensure regeneration momentum is maintained, and where possible, accelerated, and the implementation process should support that.
The last month has been a hard one for Christchurch. I don’t think any of us ever imagined something like this would happen in our country, let alone our city. Despite the shock and sadness we have felt, I have heard so many stories of kindness and compassion about people in Christchurch offering help to our Muslim community.
In the last four weeks we have observed the incredible strength and bravery of our front line emergency service staff. We have witnessed diligence and commitment from the people employed in the various government departments that are supporting victims and their families.
We have seen piles of flowers and cards, and the sincere sadness those tokens have been lain with. We have seen cooperation in parliament to ban military style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles. And at a time when they are grieving, we have seen the Al-Noor Mosque open its doors and welcome visitors.
I want to thank everyone who has done something to support and ease the suffering of the people hurting the most in the wake of the terrorist attack. It has been a reminder that even during one of New Zealand’s darkest times, there were moments of goodness.