New Zealand’s government has allocated US$197m for regeneration work in Christchurch, the country’s largest city on its South Island, which suffered an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale in 2011.
The three projects are:
- The 25,000 – 30,000 capacity Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, including $4m for early enabling works
- The ÅŒtÄkaro Avon River Corridor red zone, with the government providing $26.5m to the council
- Regeneration road development costing $26.5m.
Megan Woods, minister for greater Christchurch regeneration, said: "These projects are hugely significant to the city’s ongoing regeneration and overall future, so it’s a great step to approve the three investment cases.
"The arena, once completed, will spark and develop business confidence and growth by drawing people into the central city. This is great news for Christchurch and those communities in the east who were still feeling the effects of the quakes but who have been so passionate about regeneration of the OARC red zone and improvement of roads."
Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch’s mayor, said: "The area’s $4m of enabling works means we can push ahead with the detailed site investigation work and remove old underground services so that when the main works contractor is appointed they can hit the ground running.
"Both the crown and the council want this project to progress as quickly as possible. Our goal is to get construction under way next year so the arena can open in 2024, allowing Christchurch to reclaim its position as New Zealand’s sporting and cultural capital."
Image: The outline of the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (New Zealand government)