It is time for the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods to stop deliberate holdups and political engineering and just get the Metro Sports Facility underway, National’s spokesperson for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.
“Media reports that official information being sent to the Minister showing her politically-motivated search for cost cutting measures may take the whole thing back to the drawing board are deeply troubling.
“Every day the clock and the dollars are ticking over on the Metro Sports Facility project. The delay is now the Minister’s, and I urge her to act now,” Ms Wagner says.
“Christchurch residents have put too much time and energy into this project for the Minister to dither. A lot of time has already been spent identifying community needs, ensuring that the project fulfilled a wide range of needs, and designing the facility for construction.
“The building, if it follows the current design, will be fit-for-purpose and it is expected to be one of the best sporting complexes in the Southern Hemisphere.
“However, I am concerned that ‘cost saving measures’ that are reportedly being considered by the Government will not only downsize this project but also trigger substantial delays.
“It is appalling that this important project may fall victim to Labour’s over-promising in other areas. If money is stripped away from the project it will have huge implications on the facility.
“As is often the case with such big projects, potential risks were identified in the middle of 2017 but a peer reviewed solution was requested and delivered to the Minster. Instead of following this advice, the Minister ordered yet another report that confirmed the previous advice that this is the right option.
“The only reason the next phase in August 2017 wasn’t signed off was because it was within the election period, and if authorised, the project would be proceeding by now.
“This facility will boost our community health, continue the revitalisation of the central city and provide our high-performance athletes and sports clubs the facilities they need.
“The people of Christchurch, our children and families, along with our sports people are all waiting to see progress on this project and there is no reason for the continued delay,” Mrs Wagner says.