Barry Bragg, the chairman of Christchurch City Council’s stadium board, has confirmed that a fixed price of NZ$683m (£353m/€417m/$417m) has been negotiated with the project’s lead contractors in an attempt to quash fears about spiralling costs.
The announcement comes just weeks after the council revealed that the cost of the city’s new stadium, dubbed ‘Te Kaha’, could increase by NZ$150m to NZ$683m.
However, Bragg is now optimistic the projected costs are under control, with a significant portion of the total set aside for contingency purposes.
“Overall the board are confident about delivering the project within the total project budget, we think we have a very good contract going forward given the market conditions,” Bragg said, according to RNZ.
“We don’t want to use the contingency. We’ve had expert advice… so that we can make allowance for that and don’t have to ask ratepayers for any further money.”
Three months ago, it was announced that work was set to commence on the 30,000-seat multi-purpose stadium.
However, BESIX Watpac, which is leading the Kōtui consortium behind the project, admitted weeks later that the development’s completion date was likely to slip from mid-2025 to April 2026.
“We are all motivated to keep to that timeframe, BESIX Watpac in particular, because they’re not able to claim additional costs if that time moves out from that programme date, so both parties will be working very closely to deliver on that program date,” Bragg added.
In a recent consultation, more than three-quarters of the public expressed their support for the project in spite of the rising costs.
The council, Te Kaha Project Delivery Limited and Venues Ōtautahi are supporting the development.
Venues Ōtautahi chief executive Caroline Harvie-Teare added: “This is going to be an exceptional venue and one that is exceptionally competitive on the national and Australasian markets particularly. It’s also uniquely local, and we think that is a really cool proposition in terms of attracting events to the city.”
Councillors are set to rubber-stamp the project later this week.
Image: Christchurch City Council