In a single destination, the multi-functional arena will cater for a range of recreational activities, particularly large-scale local, national and international events.

Crowd of people at music event

Christchurch City Council and the Crown are working together to fast-track the new Canterbury multi-use arena.

The Council has allocated $253 million to the project. The funding was brought forward following strong support from the community through the Long Term Plan.

In October 2018, at the first in a series of stakeholder workshops, the Government confirmed it had earmarked $220 million to the project.

It is expected that early construction work will begin in 2021, with completion in early 2024.

The arena

In a single destination, the multi-functional arena will cater for a range of activities, particularly large-scale local, national and international events.

The multi-use arena will host a range of activities, including various sporting events, entertainment, concerts, trade shows, conferences, exhibitions, festivals, and community activities.

With its state-of-the-art design, the arena will be a leading venue for New Zealand. It will also attract new events, boosting the local economy and increasing tourism in the region.

The Council has committed funding of $253 million in its Long Term Plan to the Multi-Use Arena and fast-tracked this funding by two years to 2020/21. 

The Government has committed a $300 million Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Facility to progress key regeneration activities in the city, and work towards transitioning projects and decision-making back to local leadership. The Council has asked that $220 million of this fund is allocated to the multi-use arena.

An investment case is now being developed to submit to the Crown to support this proposal. Once funding is approved it would mean the Crown’s investment would total approximately $277 million – which is made up of $220 million from the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Facility and approximately $57 million spent to purchase the land.

It is too early to have a conversation regarding options around funding, including whether contributions from other Councils might be required, or whether private investment is being sought, until the Government has confirmed the allocation, the Investment Case is complete and we have an agreed scope for the multi-use arena to be built.


Decisions on the design of the multi-use arena will be determined as part of the investment case.

We expect the arena to host a range of activities including sporting, entertainment, commercial and trade events and community events.

The Crown and Council are committed to building an arena that has a roof.

Progress and timelines

The Investment Case is expected to be developed and signed off in 2019. It will need to be approved by Cabinet.

The Crown and Council are committed to fast-tracking the process of designing and building a multi-use arena for Canterbury, and are streamlining the approvals process. However, it’s important to take the time we need at the start to get the Investment Case right, to ensure we end up with an arena that is fit-for-purpose.

Advance Technical Services have undertaken site investigations, with some work onsite early next year. It is expected that, subject to approvals, enabling works such as final demolition, land remediation and infrastructure relocation could get underway as early as the second quarter of 2020.

Preliminary investigations have been completed, including a baseline design (with options). Final design will start after the Investment Case has been signed off by Council and the Crown, in 2019. A procurement process to select the design team will start late 2019, once the Investment Case is accepted.

Based on the Investment Case being signed-off in 2019, construction is expected to start in 2021.

The indicative timeline for completion, providing the Investment Case is signed off in 2019 with a clear design scope, is the first quarter of 2024.