Facilities  |  21 Jul 2020

Christchurch City Council is pulling out all stops on preparation work for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, as the $473 million anchor project continues to gather momentum.

Ahead of the construction work commencing early next year, staff, contractors and utilities providers are making progress and meeting required timeframes to prepare the site bordered by Cashel, Tuam, Madras and Barbadoes Streets.

Acting Mayor Andrew Turner says this work continuing at pace shows the city’s commitment to a state-of-the-art multi-use events arena that establishes Christchurch and the wider region as a key events destination.  

“The project teams are moving forward in earnest and are ensuring early development and planning milestones are met,” says Acting Mayor Turner. “Before early works begin a significant amount of work needs to happen behind the scenes, and it is excellent to see that work continuing at pace, on time and within budget.”

The on-site contamination investigation has been completed and laboratory results are due shortly. This will inform how much work will be required to remove any asbestos, fuel and coal tar from the site and enable a tender to be developed.

Working with Enable, Vodafone and Orion, the Council has begun planning and relocating underground services such as water, power and communications cables across the three-block site. Fibre cable hauling is already under way.

The redesign of the three waters systems in the area is progressing, with data being collated and 3D modelling being undertaken. Conflicting water mains and stormwater pipes will be relocated as new precast chambers are installed on Cashel and Lichfield Streets.

Council staff are working on an integrated transport assessment. The assessment will investigate how the scheduled work and finished arena will affect pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private motor vehicles, and ensure any negative effects are addressed.

The Crown has signalled its strong support for the project by granting an early release of $6 million for early enabling works for the Multi-Use Arena from the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Facility (CRAF).

Land Information New Zealand is in the process of clearing acquired buildings on the site. Preparation work to formally stop Cashel and Lichfield Streets is under way.

The Council has appointed Murray Strong as the chair of the project board. Further board members are in the process of being appointed. 

“As the final anchor project for the city, the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena will put an exclamation mark on Christchurch’s rebuild,” says Mr Strong. “I’m pleased to take up the position as board chair and am excited about the opportunities this facility will provide the region in the future.”

The Canterbury Multi-Use Arena is scheduled to open by the end of 2024.

For more information and regular updates on the CMUA, visit canterburyarena.co.nz.