Major company involved in Christchurch Metro Sports facility in liquidation (Copy)

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Apr 07, 2023 |

The construction of Christchurch’s Metro Sports Facility has been dealt another blow, as a major company involved in the project has been placed into liquidation.

Australian-based mechanical services company Benmax which was contracted to deliver the mechanical services the centre folded its New Zealand operations.

The news has raised further concerns about ongoing delays for the construction-plagued building.

In December last year Crown-owned agency Ōtākaro, which is overseeing the project, admitted the completion of the facility would be pushed back.   It went from a late ‘23 completion to late ‘24, with opening in early ‘25, due to “construction sector constraints, challenging ground conditions and regular changes to the construction programme.”

Benmax’s website states that it “designs, builds, and maintains specialised mechanical systems for commercial and industrial facilities to provide healthy, safe, and efficient indoor environments for people to live, work, and play.”

The company’s involvement in the construction of the Metro Sports Facility was seen as crucial to the successful completion of the project.

According to documents on the Government’s Companies Office website, the Benmax NZ limited was placed into liquidation on Thursday.

The liquidator was Brenton Hutt from Insolvency Matters.

His first report on the financial status of the company was due on the 17th April.

A worker revealed that he and his co-workers received the bad news on Thursday after being called into the office and being told the company was putting its New Zealand branches into liquidation, effective as of 3 pm.

Although Benmax’s Christchurch office was registered to a Lincoln Road address in Addington, its main facility was on St Asaph Street.

It also had offices in Lower Hutt.

Its directors, Geoffrey Wayne Absolom and Scott Polson, were based in New South Wales, Australia.

It is unclear what will happen to the workers including many Filipinos who were employed by the company on work residency visas, as Benmax was an Immigration New Zealand accredited company.

An Ōtākaro Limited spokesman said “Benmax was contracted by CPB to help deliver Parakiore Recreation and Sport Centre.”

He said “CPB advised Otakaro on Friday that Benmax had been put into liquidation and that it was working to secure an alternative mechanical services provider.”

“It is reasonable to expect this will disrupt the construction programme and we are awaiting a further update from CPB on the likely impact that we can then share with stakeholders” the spokesman said.

“Why the company has gone into liquidation is not a matter Ōtakaro can speculate on.”

The Metro Sports Facility, which has been plagued by delays, was originally due to open in 2016.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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