14 Jul 2022

Here are answers to some of the questions that you might have about Christchurch City Council's decision to sign a Design and Construction contract for the multi-use arena.

BESIX Watpac will complete the detailed design work on the arena, obtain the necessary consents and start ordering materials and locking in subcontractors to work on the project.

Site establishment and ground works are already underway on the site. The main construction work will begin once the detailed design has been completed and consents obtained. We expect foundation works to start mid-November.

The lead contractor is BESIX Watpac, Australian-based stadium construction experts.

They will be supported by a consortium of local and international businesses with vast experience in construction, engineering and stadium design.

April 2026.

Rates will need to increase by 1.24 per cent, assuming the Council borrows the extra $150 million. That equates to an extra $39 a year for the average residential property.

Overall, building the arena will cost the average residential ratepayer $144 a year between 2025 and 2027. After that, the amount they have to pay will decline slowly over 30 years as the debt is repaid.

Te Kaha will be used for a range of events including entertainment events such as large and medium sized concerts, sporting events, Esports, gala dinners, cocktail functions, conferences, trade shows, expos and more.

Venues Ōtautahi is forecasting that Te Kaha will host 179 to 229 events a year, including an All Black test and three large concerts. Once every six years, from 2032, Te Kaha is likely to host a ‘mega event’ such as a Rugby World Cup or a FIFA tournament.

There are two areas on the ground floor for future retail tenancies and the arena will have 32 food and beverage outlets, including three feature bars.

The temperature will be within two degrees of the outside temperature.


30,000 (25,000 permanent seats, plus capacity for 5000 temporary seats).

There is an average of $4.2 million a year of operating and capital expenditure support forecast to be required over the next 25 years. This will vary from year to year and will be further refined in detailed design as the asset management plan for the arena is developed.

The operating shortfall is associated with the asset management and maintenance of Te Kaha, along with the life cycle costs, and are in line with the Investment Case.

The 2019 Investment Case put the economic benefits of the arena at $462.2 million over 25 years.

Large sporting events are estimated to bring in $3.6 million a year while large international concerts will add $10 million.

Venues Ōtautahi plans to employ 600 to 800 casual event day staff.  The multi-use arena is also expected to stimulate employment in surrounding businesses.

Currently the Council is assuming the money will come from borrowing but it will explore other options. A future Council could decide to stop or reduce other capital projects or services to free up money for the arena, rather than fund it all from increased borrowing.

No, the Council will have signed a legally binding contract with BESIX Watpac.

On 2 December 2019, the Council advised the Crown that it would prefer the Crown and the Council to have joint responsibility for delivering the arena.

Crown officials responded by saying they believed, in the interests of returning to local leadership, the Council was best placed to take responsibility for the project. This was reiterated by the Crown in the Investment Case for the multi-use arena.

The Crown also advised that it would limit its funding contribution to that provided through the Capital Regeneration Acceleration Fund.

The project aims to support measurable action in climate change and reducing whole of life embodied carbon. We aim to balance environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits and ensure we have sustainable whole of life design that supports holistic operational efficiency. 

Te Kaha will enable the same experience for all members of the community.  Accessibility and inclusivity considerations are inherent in all aspects of design and operation. The current design enables an enhanced experience, with many minimum requirements exceeded.