New chair appointed to deliver Christchurch stadium project

Barry Bragg has been appointed as chair of the company that will oversee delivery of the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, a proposed 30,000-seat stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Bragg is a chartered accountant and has served as a director on a number of property and commercial companies, including Ngāi Tahu Property.

He has also been a director of other entities such as the Canterbury Health Board, Air Rescue and the Flying Doctor Service. Bragg affiliates with Ngāi Tahu, Whānau ā Apanui and Whakatōhea.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said: “Barry has been interim chair of the board while we’ve reviewed the governance arrangements for the company and his extensive governance experience has already proved invaluable.

He has put in place a number of processes and structure changes that provide us with confidence the Board will skilfully manage the delivery of this critical project.”

Original chairman Murray Strong resigned from the role earlier this year.

Christchurch City Council has also appointed Gill Cox as a director of CMUA Project Delivery Limited. Cox has strong commercial and governance experience and recently served as chair of the council’s venue management company, Venues Ōtautahi.

“Mr Cox’s appointment will ensure that the CMUA project has a strong focus on operational matters and the facility is fit for purpose,” said Dalziel.

Richard Peebles and Steve Reindler will also serve as directors for CMUA Project Delivery Limited. Peebles is a property investor who has helped rebuild Christchurch’s city centre following the recent earthquakes, while Reindler has extensive construction experience and holds a number of board positions.

Dalziel added: “The job of delivering Christchurch a world-class arena in a time when there are supply chain issues and rising construction costs because of the coronavirus pandemic is going to be challenging.

“But I am confident we have the best people for the job and that they will pull out all the stops to ensure Christchurch ends up with an arena that delivers a great visitor experience and energises the heart of our city.”

Last month, the council voted to restore the seating capacity of the stadium to 30,000 after its decision to approve a concept for a smaller design was criticised by locals. The design concept will mean that the venue is capable of hosting up to 41,000 people for concerts.

The council announced that it will revert to the initial capacity and confirmed that the decision to restore the extra 5,000 seats will add about NZ$50m (£25m/€30m/$35m) to the previously approved budget of NZ$473m.
The stadium is set to host All Blacks rugby matches as well as concerts and other events.

Image: Christchurch City Council