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The new Minister responsible for Christchurch’s anchor projects is cynically misrepresenting official information, National’s Spokesperson for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Matt Doocey says. 

“Megan Woods’ announcement today proclaiming she is getting the Metro Sports Facility ‘back on track’ is nothing more than hot air and spin, and is clearly designed to mask the new Government’s decision to scale back the facility.

“It is inaccurate of the Minister to say the project is expected to exceed its budget by $75 million.

“In actual fact, much of the $75 million is an estimate to cover the estimated risk and given the ground conditions in Christchurch and the experience gained by contractors working in these conditions on the Justice Precinct, this is not surprising,” Mr Doocey says.

“She is deliberately misrepresenting the facts. The risk-sharing component may never need to be paid if the contract goes well, but public sector financing rules require it to be entered on the books.

“Megan Woods has seized upon this to scale back - what would have been - a world class facility.”

Mr Doocey says this cynical political move will actually add further delays to completing the project.

“Great things do take time and the challenges familiar to any property developer in Christchurch – such as site decontamination and earthquake resilient designs – have all been completed for the Metro Facility.

“Thanks to the new Minister’s apparent need to stop progress in its tracks, sadly it looks like Christchurch is going to get nothing more than a suburban swimming complex with only average facilities.”

The Metro Sports facility announced by the National Government was to include a 50m competition swimming pool, recreational pools and a diving pool alongside eight netball courts, a movement centre (gymnastics) and associated sports and health facilities including the high performance sports unit.

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