6 Aug 2021

Christchurch stadium decision to be reconsidered in light of new details

8:01 am on 6 August 2021

Christchurch's mayor says the city council will reconsider the decision it made on reducing the size of its new arena.

Signs paperwork - the day Labour's Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson and Megan Woods visited

An aerial view of the site for the new Christchurch stadium. Photo: Supplied / Christchurch City Council

It comes after a majority of councillors voted last month to reduce its capacity from 30,000 seats to 25,000, after being told of an $88 million budget blow-out.

But documents released by the council on Monday revealed that the blow-out figure was wrong and 30,000 seats could have been kept for a $67m cost overrun.

It prompted renewed calls by a group of councillors, spearheaded by Sam MacDonald, to have another vote on the matter.

They want the greater capacity restored in order to future-proof the covered arena, which has a budget of $473m.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said a notice of motion had been filed for next week's council meeting, and sought to reconsider the decision made on 22 July.

"This has to be the end of the matter as we need to get on and build the arena as soon as possible, without burdening our ratepayers with further cost escalations caused by delays," she said.

Since the decision to reduce the capacity was made by a majority of councillors, there has been mounting pressure on the council to reverse the decision.

It has been pushed in particular by councillors MacDonald, James Gough, Phil Mauger, Catherine Chu and Aaron Keown, who opposed reducing the capacity.

Dalziel claimed if the councillors had provided notice of their amendment to increase seating capacity earlier, "staff would have had time to provide advice on the amendment prior to the 22 July meeting".

A public petition with 23,000 signatures calling on last month's vote to be reversed will also be tabled at the meeting, set for next Thursday morning.