Plagued Christchurch metro sports facility hits muti-million dollar problem delaying completion – again

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 26, 2023 |

The plagued Christchurch metro sports facility has hit another multi-million dollar problem, forcing yet more delays.

Government owned agency Rau Paenga has rejected an increased claim for $439.4m from CPB, the main works contractor on Christchurch’s Parakiore Recreation and Sport Centre, as noted in the Crown company’s recently published annual report. 

On CPB’s website it said “this project continues CPB Contractors’ long track record of delivering important infrastructure in New Zealand and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.”

But that is looking increasingly unlikely.

The claim would see the project’s contract value increase to $696m, and the construction completion date shift to May 2025.

Rau Paenga Chief Executive, John O’Hagan said the Crown company continues to reject the excessive and unsubstantiated claim on both entitlement and amount.

“CPB’s claim relates to a range of issues including COVID-19 and associated delays, design and adverse ground conditions, and other sundry claims, including allegations that Rau Paenga has not provided acceptable building design documentation.

“Rau Paenga has confidence in the quality of its design.

“The facility is already over 70% complete, for which CPB has been paid around $220m to date, and includes some COVID related claims.

“As you will be aware, CPB had already lodged a claim in September 2022 for an additional $212m, which it increased to $439.4m at the start of September 2023.

Rau Paenga Chief Executive, John O’Hagan / Photo: Supplied

“The Rau Paenga team knows all too well what Parakiore will bring to Christchurch.

“We have families and friends as eager as anyone to ride those hydroslides and play on the courts, but we also have a duty to be responsible with Crown funds.

“We have and will continue to do all we can to get construction of Parakiore completed as close to the end of 2024 as possible but acknowledge this will be challenging given CPB’s current stance.

“While we would like to find a reasonable commercial resolution to this matter, Rau Paenga has already successfully taken legal action to prevent CPB from suspending construction works on site based on its unsubstantiated claims.

“As the legal action continues, we are limited in what else we can say at this time.”

Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale said “we’re disappointed and dismayed that Christchurch residents are facing further delays to the project, and that contractor’s claims have increased so dramatically.

Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale said “we deserve better” / Photo: Supplied

“Christchurch residents, sports organisations and community groups have been waiting years to enjoy this space, and we believe they deserve better.

“On-site work began on this project in 2018, and Cantabrians were initially told it would be completed by 2021.”

The contractor’s claims would mean the project contract’s value could increase to $696m, which is more than the $683m lump sum contract to deliver Te Kaha, Canterbury’s Multi-Use Arena. The Council’s contribution to the Parakiore project is capped at $146.9m.

Sport Canterbury Chief Executive Julyan Falloon said “the ongoing delays and disputes are causing frustration within the sporting groups and residents. Photo: Supplied

“This project is already years behind schedule; residents will continue to be extremely frustrated by this news, and Sport Canterbury, along with our wider sector, share this frustration.”

“The sport, recreation and physical activity sector are relying on this essential community facility, and the delays not only affect planning and budgets, but also the ability for some sports in our region to grow.

“The best-case scenario is for the issue to be resolved quickly, or at least to put this current situation aside so there are no further delays.”


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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