Press Release 2 July 2022
- David Meates is committed to a new stadium for Christchurch, but one the city can afford.
- A stadium would complete Christchurch and restore pride and mana to a city
- Councillors have not explained how to pay for the $200m budget increase
- Ratepayers need to understand how the council can manage funding gaps for other major items of infrastructure
Independent Mayoral candidate David Meates says current councillors should pause over “handcuffing future councils to unsustainable rates rises” for a multi-use arena/stadium.
David is committed to a new stadium for Christchurch, but one the city can afford.
“A stadium would complete Christchurch and restore pride and mana to a city that desperately needs it. It’s important to listen to the community and businesses but it is time for an objective conversation about what can be built to support the city without overburdening ratepayers.”
“Covered stadia are an enormous cost for a relatively limited return. It’s a lesson I’ve learned in other countries and probably explains why so few covered multi-purpose stadiums have been built in places like the UK.”
David said a new stadium would bring regional development opportunities and more people in to support central city businesses, but councillors had not yet explained how to pay for the massive costs – costs which may still increase beyond $680m as plans are finalised.
“Nor have Councillors told ratepayers how much the ongoing maintenance, event promotion funding and debt servicing costs will affect their rates bill.”
“The election period is not the time for council to impose such an enormous expense on the city without the providing the clarity on how we will pay. It’s hard to understand how a huge expense can be pushed on ratepayers without a clear pathway for funding the additional $200m needed.”
The son of an All Black, Meates said pride and emotion over our strong sporting heritage should not take the place of good governance and decision making.
“We have a shared view of the desired outcome for our city but need to think carefully about the way we get there, and how council can manage funding gaps for other major items of infrastructure.”
“Councillors need to clearly lay out the consequences if they decide to go ahead with the current plan and as construction costs are continuing to skyrocket.”
“Will it mean rates rises, asset sales, basic service cuts to libraries, swimming pools, parks and reserves, or will they delay essential roading maintenance?”
“If they can’t give ratepayers that certainty, they need to take option C – pause and reassess.”
David was CEO of the CDHB from 2009 to 2020 and was part of one of the largest building programmes ever undertaken in health following the Canterbury earthquakes.