28 Jun 2021

Work to prepare Lyttelton’s Te Nukutai o Tapoa-Naval Point for the prestigious SailGP 2022 yachting series has started.

Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour will be on the global stage when a SailGP event is raced there on 29 and 30 January 2022, after a successful bid by ChristchurchNZ last year.

The Council is fast-tracking the car park development of the Naval Point Development Plan, adopted in November 2020, to make sure the site is ready for the racing. It is also taking the opportunity to replace an ageing water main, upgrade utilities and make foreshore improvements.

It has worked with Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rapaki on arranging under their cultural protocols for the decommissioning of certain buildings and ground areas before starting the work.

Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says a lot of effort has already gone in behind the scenes before physical works could begin this week.

“We are grateful for the support and patience of the many groups who use this site, as we have worked out a way to make it ready for this exciting event and start stage one of the development plan. We have worked with stakeholders to provide alternative facilities and storage for them as these need to be relocated to free up the site for the preparation work and the event itself.

“There will be some disruption to access over the coming months while work is carried out, but the public boat ramp is operating as normal and there is car and boat parking available beside that. It is the over flow car park, next to the recreation grounds, that we are sealing with asphalt.

 “The benefits of this work will be recognised long after the SailGP event has finished and are aligned with the wider development plan,” Mr Rutledge says.

The works are expected to take six months to complete at a cost of just under $4 million. Funds are coming from the existing budget that had already been set aside for the long-term development of Naval Point.

“We will continue to update users about these stage one works and are also working closely with ChristchurchNZ and SailGP to keep the community – both on the peninsula and in the city – informed about the opportunities and impacts the sailing event will have on them.”

ChristchurchNZ General Manager Destination and Attraction Loren Heaphy says SailGP is a chance to showcase Lyttelton to a global audience, while allowing Kiwis the chance to see the yachting series up close and personal.

“Event planning is progressing well and announcements will be made in the lead up to SailGP letting people know how they can view and get involved in this exciting event. A comprehensive traffic management plan will be in place, including details of how residents and spectators can access Lyttelton and Naval Point.

“We will also be working with local businesses on how they can maximise the opportunities SailGP presents.”

Manaia Rehu, chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, says they are honoured to have the event on Whakaraupō and to be representatives of Māori culture to a global audience. 

“Whakaraupō is a special part of our identity and as kaitiaki, guardians, of this beautiful place, we are pleased to welcome the world to our backyard.”