16 Aug 2018

Delay for earthworks at Christchurch's Metro sports facility

From Checkpoint, 5:28 pm on 16 August 2018

Construction of Christchurch's Metro Sports Facility has been delayed further, almost two months after the government said it would start.

The complex, featuring pools and indoor sport courts, was meant to be finished two years ago but it has not even started.

In April, minister for greater Christchurch regeneration Megan Woods said the project was back on track and earthworks would get underway as soon as possible.

"Earthworks will be underway in the next eight to ten weeks," she said on April 27th.

That deadline came and went.

Crown Rebuild Agency Ōtākaro said last month they would begin in August.

This week - halfway through August - its new chief executive, John Bridgman, said contractors had not yet taken possession of the site.

"The contractor doing the ground improvement works is due to take possession of the site this week or next week.

"They'll be going through putting in...7000 stone columns."

Ōtākaro said ground work would begin this month.

When asked about the original ground works start date, Ms Woods denied she said earthworks would begin in eight to ten weeks.

"The contract was to be let and that had happened."

She also denied there had been any delay.

"There isn't a delay, three-to-four weeks ago we announced that the contract had been let."

Some Canterbury sporting codes said they would have liked to have seen more progress on the Christchurch's Metro Sports facility. 

"It's a bit slower than we envisaged, we did expect...that there would be earthworks happening by this point in time," Swimming Canterbury-West Coast chairperson Wayne Rollinson said.

"I do understand with government being involved that things are going to slow down."

Canterbury Basketball chief executive Paul Duggan said he was relying on the facility to accommodate rapid growth.

"As a sport we are just hanging out for these facilities so we are just waiting until it opens, and we are just looking for any positive moves that can be made to get things happening on that site."