Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub is out of the starting blocks
Caption: Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman fires the starting gun on development of the athletics track at Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub, with pupils from Spreydon Primary and Aidanfield Christian schools.
The countdown is officially on to the start of work on the new Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub, with Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman joining Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel to celebrate the imminent development of a long-awaited athletics track.
An afternoon of sports, speeches and sausage sizzles saw Mayor Dalziel gifted with contributions from Sport NZ, New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) and SKY TV towards the Sports Hub. Development will begin with a new, international-standard athletics track that will serve the Canterbury community and help Christchurch secure national and international events.
“We owe so much to New Zealand Community Trust, Sport NZ and SKY TV for helping us get Ngā Puna Wai across the line,” Mayor Dalziel says. “NZCT and Sport NZ are each contributing $1 million, and this is SKY’s fifth $200,000 donation in five years towards the recovery in Christchurch. NZCT and Sport NZ have each gone over and above with their support for Canterbury sport since the 2011 earthquakes, and we can’t give enough thanks.
“The first diggers will be onsite in March, and work on the athletics track is set to begin in April. It will be the catalyst for what’s going to be a lot of exciting development at Ngā Puna Wai over the next two years.”
Caption: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is presented with $1 million from Sport NZ by Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman.
Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub will combine facilities for four sports – the athletics track, hockey turfs, tennis courts and rugby league fields along with community sports fields – on a 32-hectare section of Ngā Puna Wai in southwest Christchurch. The first stage of the development will see the athletics track up and running in January 2018, and the other sport surfaces, facilities and community playing fields opening from Autumn 2018.
“The project originated post-earthquake, when a number of sports codes in Canterbury lost their home venues,” Mayor Dalziel says. “Athletics Canterbury lost the track at QEII, and in the search for an ideal location for a replacement, other sports codes with damaged facilities – and about 14,000 keen members between them – all came on board.
“The demand for getting involved in sport is as strong as ever in Canterbury – in fact, demand is growing in a number of areas – and the sporting community has been chomping at the bit for Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub for some time now,” Mayor Dalziel says. “This Hub means all the sports can share facilities and costs. We are well on track to reclaiming our status as the sporting capital of New Zealand.”
The event was attended by Athletics Canterbury, Canterbury Hockey, Canterbury Rugby League, Tennis Canterbury and Sport Canterbury, who are partnering with Christchurch City Council to deliver the sports hub. Canterbury local and 2016 Rio Olympic medallist Tom Walsh was also on hand to celebrate with children and young athletes from local schools.
Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub is envisioned as a long-term project, with in excess of $40 million required for the first stage. $37.5 million is already ring-fenced for the core playing surfaces, and as fundraising continues throughout 2017, more of the hub will be developed. This first stage will then act as the catalyst for future growth.