Rt Hon John Key
It’s been fantastic to see progress on two major projects in Christchurch in recent months, with work underway on the Convention Centre site and the new Burwood Hospital open for patients.
The Convention Centre has been one of the most hotly discussed topics in Christchurch in recent months, so it’s great to see work started on this important facility.
Months of design and planning work have gone into the project and it’s on course to open in late 2019. An indicative design has been released to give people an idea of what to expect and I think it looks great.
The Government is committed to ensuring the Convention Centre Precinct is world-class, and supported by quality accommodation, hospitality and retail facilities.
Otakaro – the company we’ve set up to deliver key anchor projects – is leading the process to identify and appoint contractors to confirm the final design and builders for the Convention Centre.
In other progress, the $215 million redevelopment of Burwood Hospital is now complete and open. In total, Canterbury is receiving close to $1 billion in new hospital facilities over the next few years. Along with the Acute Services Building and the new Outpatients facility, this represents the most significant public hospital project ever in New Zealand.
Delivering better health services continues to be a top priority for the National-led Government. That’s why we’re investing a record $16.1 billion into health this year. Thousands of New Zealanders are already benefitting from that extra investment.
Another sign of progress in the regeneration of the city, has been the opening of The Terraces promenade. This $10 million redevelopment follows the river from the hospital to the Margaret Mahy playground and creates a lovely space for people to gather, play, shop and dine.
Finally, many people in Canterbury and the rest of New Zealand are concerned about housing and quite rightly so. New Zealand has a strong, growing economy and that’s putting extra pressure on our housing market.
It’s a challenge the National-led Government is facing head on. We have a comprehensive plan underway to deal with housing issues.
Recently I announced the latest step – a $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate new housing in high-growth areas like Christchurch. The new fund will focus squarely on financing the roads, water and other important infrastructure needed to support new housing.
There are no quick fixes to this issue, but our comprehensive housing plan is delivering results. We are now in the midst of the biggest building boom New Zealand has ever seen and are committed to building on this momentum.