There is a moment when opportunity and outcome reach towards each other in near perfect unison to state ‘now is the time to make your dreams a reality’. For Christchurch, this is one of those moments!
Now is the time for both local and central government, ‘stand and deliver’ on the construction of a new stadium for Christchurch or what has now become known as the Multi-Purpose Arena or MPA.
The Multi-Purpose Arena, is exactly what it sounds; a venue for major sports events and concerts which is also flexible enough to host a multitude of other attractions. We’re talking about a covered stadium designed for flexibility and financial success, a place for rugby and the Crusaders to call home.
As the Independent candidate for Ilam, I have a vision for Christchurch that focuses on ambition and well-being. It's called Chch2026. Why 2026? Because that is when I want to see this city host the Commonwealth Games with an opening ceremony staged at our new Multi-Purpose Arena!
So let’s consider the opportunity we have for Christchurch. A pre-feasibility has just been handed to the council putting the initial cost of a Multi-Purpose Arena at $496m. The Council has already allocated $253m towards a stadium project, and now it's time for Central Government to come to the party and commit to the rest.
The Government's share, would be less than half the amount quoted to build Auckland Waterfront stadium back in 2006 and what a missed opportunity that was for the country.
The moment for our city is now, so let’s not waste it. Let’s agree to create something truly inspiring, a Multi-Purpose Arena for both Christchurch and New Zealand.
2026 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the devastating earthquakes that damaged so much of our city. Let's now look forward with hope for the wellbeing of Christchurch and Canterbury.
My message is clear: Do it properly. Do it once. Do it now.