Work is officially under way on Christchurch’s Metro Sports Facility (MSF), with Mayor Lianne Dalziel joining the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Dr Megan Woods, and the Minister for Sport, Grant Robertson, in turning the first sods today.
Dr Woods says today’s official start on the indoor 50-metre competition and dive pools at the MSF site is a milestone for Christchurch.
“The Metro Sports Facility will bring thousands of people into the central city each week,” Dr Woods says. “It’ll provide world-class recreational facilities for our people, and boost local sporting codes.
“Working together, the Council, the Government and the local sporting codes have got this project back on track after it was stalled and over budget. Today we see the results of that hard work.”
Mr Robertson says Canterbury’s swimmers have waited a long time for an indoor 50-metre competition pool.
“All of Christchurch has been looking forward to this wonderful new facility,” he says.
“The five-metre-deep dive well and competition pool tanks are stainless steel and will come from a specialist supplier in Italy. These tanks have been selected as they will be more resilient than traditional pools in the event of any further earthquakes.”
Mayor Dalziel says the Metro Sports Facility – named Taiwhanga Rehia – will be the largest aquatic and indoor recreation and leisure venue in New Zealand, providing a range of amenities for all ages and sporting abilities.
“We are looking forward to finally having a world-class venue in our city that can host local, national international events – drawing thousands of people to Christchurch,” the Mayor says.
“It will also provide multiple well-being benefits for local residents and – despite the long wait for Christchurch – contribute to a thriving, healthy city.”
The area for the pool tanks – on the Antigua Street side of the site – will be excavated so that the underground services, foundations and stainless steel tanks can be installed.
Over the past eight months, 7256 columns have been installed at the site.
If laid end to end, these one-metre in diameter columns would stretch from Hornby to Ashburton.
In total, 85,000 tonnes – or 2840 truckloads – of stone have also been brought in to increase the ground density and reduce the risk of liquefaction.
The Metro Sports Facility – bordered by Moorhouse Avenue, Stewart Street, St Asaph Street and Antigua Street – is expected to open in early 2022. It will include a 10-lane competition pool, a large diving pool, five hydroslides, a warm water pool/spa/sauna/steam room, multi-purpose indoor courts, an aquatic sensory space and high-performance sports centre.