Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Sport and Recreation
Mayor Sam Broughton from Selwyn
Christchurch City Councillors and Community Board representatives
Mike Knell, Chairman, New Zealand Community Trust
Kirsty Way, SKY TV
The local and national representatives of the sports which are partners in the project:
- Athletics Canterbury and Athletics New Zealand;
- Tennis Canterbury & Tennis NZ;
- Rugby League CanterCbury & Rugby League NZ
- Hockey Canterbury & Hockey NZ
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
Sport and recreation has always been a big part of this city and region's cultural fabric – Canterbury is after all the sporting capital of NZ.
In that context, today is a really important milestone not only for the city, but also for the region.
Of course we cannot think about today, without thinking about the loss of the QEII facility as a result of the February earthquake. And like Nga Puna Wai will become, QEII wasn't just a local community asset, it belonged to the nation. I will never forget Dick Taylor winning the 10,000m, something that apparently took everyone except his coach by surprise.
I attended the IPC Athletics World Championships just a matter of days before the Feb 2011 earthquake. It was a magnificent facility.
The point that I am making is the loss of QEII hit the city. It has put pressure on other facilities and our future champions have had to travel great distances to keep up the level of competition they require.
Ngā Puna Wai is a prime spot in Christchurch’s growing southwest, and will enable our neighbouring communities in Selwyn and in Waimakiriri to readily access the new sports facilities as well.
On this occasion I can't think of a better combination of portfolios for a Minister to have - Health and Sports & Recreation. The two go hand in hand. The connection between sport and recreation and health and wellbeing could not be more aligned.
The wonderful thing about Ngā Puna Wai is that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts. There may be competition on the track, but off the track collaboration will be the name of the game. Nga Puna Wai will be a model for how partnership works, allowing codes to share facilities – car parks, changing rooms, administration, storage and support spaces.
And now with the athletics track less than a year away from completion, today will become the catalyst for future development.
I watched the Christchurch Adventure Park go from approval to opening in 10 months. This was a 2 year project. But they showed 100% grit and determination and they delivered a world class facility in world record time. I mention them today because they are equally determined to get back on their feet after the devastation of the Port Hills fire. And I believe they will do it.
My challenge to you is to do the same - deliver the region a world class facility in world record time.
We are launching today's milestone with a race. I want our council team to take on a race against time or we will lose a generation of young people to sport we simply cannot afford to lose.
It is now my great pleasure to invite Minister Coleman, Mike Knell of the New Zealand Community Trust and Kirsty Way of Sky TV on stage to officially present the generous donations that they have made
- Sport NZ (Minister Coleman)
- NZ Community Trust (Mike Knell)
- Sky TV (Chris Major, SKY Director of Government Relations)