6 Mar 2024

Ōtautahi Christchurch’s new Multicultural Recreation and Community Centre has opened in the heart of Hagley Park.

The hub, established in the former Christchurch Netball Centre, has undergone refurbishment over the past three months in preparation for the grand opening event, held last night.

“For the local multicultural communities and groups who, over many years, worked towards securing a space to call their own, it was a highly anticipated and special occasion,” Christchurch City Council Head of Community Support and Partnerships John Filsell says.

The Council purchased the facility in early 2022 and has entrusted the operational running of the centre to the Multicultural Recreation and Community Centre Charitable Trust (MRCCCT).

"We're thrilled to partner with the Trust and multicultural communities across Christchurch in establishing a lively and inclusive centre for cultural, cross-cultural, recreational and community activities, programmes and events,” Mr Filsell says.

The opening event included speeches, cultural performances, shared kai and the official opening of the centre by Mayor Phil Mauger. It marked exactly 30 years since the 1994 inaugural opening of the Christchurch Netball Centre.

MRCCCT chairperson Shreejana Chhetri thanked everyone who had been on the journey leading to the centre’s opening and noted the event as a milestone.

"As we look around this vibrant place, it is a symbol of hope and progress. It is a reminder of what we can achieve when we work together,” says Ms Chhetri.

“We envision a space where communities of all backgrounds feel welcomed, empowered and safe, and foster a sense of belonging in this space. This Centre realises our collective hopes for a more inclusive, vibrant, and connected community, where all walks of life can come together to celebrate the richness of our cultural diversity.”

Groups who want to apply to use the space or individuals looking to get connected can find more information on the Council website.