Christchurch's Metro Sports Centre is on track to open in 2021 despite construction delays, Megan Woods says.
Construction of the complex, featuring a competition pool and indoor sport courts, was meant to be finished two years ago, but groundworks finally began yesterday.
Back in April Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods said work would begin in the next eight to ten weeks.
Now she said she was excited progress was finally happening.
"The main construction will begin in April next year and we' are still on the timeline for the 2021 opening that we announced when we reviewed the project."
Ms Woods said all the advice she had received said the work was still on schedule.
The government's decision to reduce the cost of the facility to $50 million, helped to get work underway and make the goal of getting the facility open achievable.
Ms Woods said this now allowed sports groups to plan for the future.
"It's been a really tough eight years for a lot of sporting clubs that haven't had the facilities around the city."
Sport Canterbury chief executive Julyan Falloon said it had been quiet since the announcement in April but now groundworks were underway a milestone had been achieved.
Without a 50 metre pool in the city and indoor facilities it had a big impact for sports in the area.
"I know sports like netball for example, they've been predominately outdoors for so long and they want to migrate indoors.
"We've been waiting too long, it's taken too long, but we've got to get over that and start planning for opening date, hopefully in 2021."