Ngā Puna Wai, beside Canterbury Agricultural Park, is the site of a new sports hub for Christchurch.

It will combine facilities for a number of sporting disciplines – including an athletics track, hockey turfs, outdoor tennis courts and sports fields – on 32 hectares of Ngā Puna Wai near Wigram, which is currently used mainly for livestock grazing and public recreation.

The first stage of the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub Stage 1 development will see the athletics track up and running in March 2018, with hockey turfs, tennis courts and rugby league fields, community playing fields and facilities opening from Autumn 2018 to 2019.

Work is currently underway onsite. View a map of the walking tracks currently available for public use.(external link)

September 2017: 3D renders finalised 

The 3D designs of Ngā Puna Wai have been finalised and provide an aerial impression of what the completed sports hub will look like. 

July 2017: Construction update

Construction is still underway on Stage 1 of the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub, but significantly wetter than average weather over autumn and winter has unfortunately resulted in a delay to the programme. With the site experiencing heavy rains periodically every 5–7 days – a higher rainfall than we've seen in any recent autumn – the ground at Ngā Puna Wai has become saturated.

Our contractors have installed surface drains to help dry out the land, but ultimately we need to let nature take its course, which means letting fine weather and Nor’wester winds in spring dry out the land.

While our contractors are on standby to restart the earthworks should we get a window of fine weather, we’re cautiously moving the construction completion dates for elements of the sports hub back: the athletics track will open in March 2017 and the hockey pitches in May 2018.

April 2017: Early earthworks have started

Early earthworks have started on the Wigram Basin enlargement and Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub Stage 1 projects, where nearly 200,000 cubic metres of gravel will be excavated from the Wigram Stormwater Basin extension and spread over the Ngā Puna Wai site.

This will save both projects $3–5 million by avoiding the need for material to be taken off-site. Rooneys Earthmoving Ltd is currently stripping off the topsoil ahead of the removal and transfer of the gravel.

February 2017: Athletics track out of the starting blocks

The countdown to the start of work on the new Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub started on 28 February 2017, with Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman joining Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel to celebrate the imminent development of a long-awaited athletics track.

An afternoon of sports, speeches and sausage sizzles saw Mayor Dalziel gifted with contributions from Sport NZ, New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) and SKY TV towards the Sports Hub. Read more(external link).

Master Plan approved

A milestone was reached on Monday 15 August 2016 when the Master Plan was approved by the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub Project Steering Group. The Master Plan is a revised version, following an independent peer review. It identifies the preferred locations for where everything will fit on the site and opens the door for the team to design the civil works (foundations, drainage, etc), sports surfaces and buildings.

Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub Master Plan

Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub Master Plan (Stage 1 in colour, future stages in grey)

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The Ngā Puna Wai Reserve itself comprises 83 hectares of recreation and esplanade reserve and other park land beside Canterbury Agricultural Park, near Wigram. Council staff and other stakeholders identified it as the preferred site for a new athletics track to replace the one lost at QEII Park in the earthquakes.

Following strong support from the wider Christchurch recreational and sporting community, the Council called for a report on the possibility of establishing a sporting hub at Ngā Puna Wai Reserve, using the athletics track as a key development.

The Council's decision to proceed came after a two-month public consultation in 2014, with 4725 submissions received on the proposal. Ninety per cent of those submissions were in favour of a sports hub at Ngā Puna Wai Reserve.

The team

A multidisciplinary design team was appointed on Friday 10 June 2016. A consortium including AECOM and Beca, in partnership with Studio106 Architect, plus a number of other critical specialists, has been contracted to begin concept design work for Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub. This team will now develop the approved conceptual design through to a detailed design, which will be used to consent and tender out the various work packages. 

AECOM is a market leader in the delivery of sports and recreation projects in Australia/New Zealand. They provide a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customised and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients and the community. The depth of the AECOM business has enabled them to bring their most experienced and capable project and cost managers to the Ngā Puna Wai project. Under the skilled leadership of Ross Davison and Chris Hemphill the team brings enthusiasm, a wealth of sport sector knowledge, and is committed to working collaboratively with the Council and the community to deliver a fantastic outcome.

Beca is one of New Zealand’s largest employee-owned businesses and has been part of the Christchurch community for over 50 years. Beca and Studio106 Architect continue their involvement as the designers of the Ngā Puna Wai sports hub, having designed the original master plan in 2013 with the key members of the Christchurch sporting community, as well as developing the Stage One scope in 2015. Beca’s John van Cingel is the Design Manager, with Dion Gosling leading the architecture team with his considerable experience as Sports Architect and athlete (ex- Black Sticks, Athens Olympian and Commonwealth Silver medalist).

Further information

Stage One Masterplan Concept Design Report