13 Jun 2024

One of the largest planting projects in central Christchurch is underway.

Almost 20,000 new plants and trees are being planted around the under construction Parakiore Recreation and Sport Centre.

Boffa Miskell Landscape Architect, Hamish Cochrane, says 933 trees up to three metres tall are being added to the site, along with 18,613 plants.

“All of these plants are native, so it's exciting to see such a large number of natives go into a site of this prominence.”

Parakiore has two distinct wings. The western side features enough space for nine basketball-sized indoor courts. On the eastern side are 11 pools and spas.

Mr Cochrane says the planting design references these two distinct elements.

“Around the pools’ side we have various plants and trees which reflect the waterways, rivers, lakes of the Canterbury district. Similarly, around the courts’ side we're picking up on those forests and grassland structures that you see throughout the Canterbury Plains.

“As well as providing shade in the car parks, the landscaping also has another important function. All the stormwater in the car park drains into three central swales, where we have plants that will filter out particulates, which includes runoff from cars, oils and other pollutants before it enters the stormwater system for further treatment, in preparation for leaving the site.

“We hope that when people start enjoying the site, they experience something which is uniquely Canterbury and that they can be proud of.”

Planting will take place in phases over the next 12 months.

Parakiore will be New Zealand’s largest indoor sports and aquatics facility and is being delivered by Crown infrastructure delivery company, Rau Paenga.

It will be owned and operated by Christchurch City Council. Construction is currently expected to be completed in July 2025, which will allow the facility to open towards the end of that year.